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High court OKs appellate e-filing project, changes to court-reporting rules

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently issued orders that both give the green light to rolling out electronic filing in the state’s appellate courts and make changes to the court’s court-reporting rules.

Sheila Riff, clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, filed a rule-change proposal in February asking the high court to approve a test project and interim rules and procedures for the development of mandatory e-filing in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Randy Koschnick, director of state courts, petitioned the court to make changes to the high court’s court-reporting rules. The changes, he has said, would codify current practice allowing digital audio recording to be used as an alternative to stenographic court reporting.

The high court asked the public to weigh in, sending out calls for written comments and putting both proposals to a public hearing on April 8.

The justices received a handful of comments on the appellate e-filing petition, the majority of which supported the proposal. On the other hand, the justices received dozens of letters regarding the court-reporting petition, some of which were from court reporters around the state opposing Koschnick’s proposal.

The justices on April 15 issued an order adopting Reiff’s proposal, allowing her to begin the test project immediately. She will submit a progress report to the justices every six months. The first report is due Sept. 1.

On April 22, the court issued an order adopting Koschnick’s proposal. The justices made modifications that remove references to the state’s public-records law.

“The court’s decision to remove any reference to public records law should not be construed to reflect any legal opinion on the matter,” according to the order.

The changes to the court-reporting rules take effect July 1.

About Erika Strebel, [email protected]

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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