The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is going to require that all briefs be electronically filed, beginning June 1, 2008.  E-filing has been optional since April 1st. 

In order to e-file, you need to go through Fourth Circuit training, and you have to register for an "Appellate Filer Account."  The training is required even if you are already authorized to e-file documents in the District Courts.  Detailed instructions from the Fourth Circuit on this whole process are here and also summarized in the rest of this post.

At some point during the registration, you’ll need to have a PACER account.  If you don’t have one, or your firm doesn’t have one, you’ll need to register for that. 

You can register here at any time for the Appellate Filer Account, but your Account won’t become active until after you’ve completed the training.  If you don’t take the training and complete the process within a week after your registration for the Appellate Filer Account, you’ll have to re-register for the Account.  It probably makes more sense to train first and register after.

On the training, you can sign up for live training here.  That’s happening in Raleigh on May 21st and 22nd; in Charlotte on June 10th; and in Greensboro on June 18th and 19th.  The live training takes about two and a half hours. 

On-line training is also available. Information on that is available here.  What you need to do is to watch the Electronic Learning Modules for "Filing an Appearance of Counsel" and "Filing a Motion to Seal," then take the "Policies and Procedures Review," which is a 10 question quiz based on the CM/ECF User Manual, and then submit the On-Line Training Certification Form.  (I’ve heard that this takes about half an hour, so it’s faster than the live training). 

The Court has adopted new Rules concerning e-filing.