News from the Director

Electronic Filing Update Re Electonric Bookmarks in PDFs
(adapted from email to panel of April 16, 2015)

Effective May 1, 2015, the First District Court of Appeal requires the inclusion of “electronic bookmarks” in all electronically filed briefs exceeding 40 pages and in all motions and writs, irrespective of page length.  The purpose of electronic bookmarks is to make it easier for the reader to navigate electronically filed PDF documents that are lengthy and/or contain exhibits by creating a navigation pane on the side of the document that offers direct links to specific sections of a brief, motion, or petition, usually mirroring the document’s table of contents.  The bookmarks pane can be accessed from any page of the brief so that the reader does not need to scroll back to the table of contents in order to find another section of the brief. 

This notice informs panel attorneys of the rule change, identifies a range of programs (some free, some costly) that can be used to meet the new electronic bookmark requirement, explains what electronic bookmarks are, and provides instructions on how to create electronic bookmarks using two of the available software alternatives.

The Text of Amended Local Rule 16(b)

Effective May 1, 2015, Local Rule 16(b) was amended to read as follows:

(1)  Documents filed electronically must be in PDF format, or readily capable of conversion to PDF format while maintaining original document formatting by TrueFiling to permit text searches and to facilitate transmission and retrieval.  If the filer possesses only a paper copy of a document, it may be scanned to convert it to a searchable PDF format.  It is the filer’s responsibility to ensure that any document filed is complete and readable.  No single document shall exceed a total file size of 25 MB.

(2)  Electronic briefs must comply with the content and form requirements of California Rules of Court, rule 8.204, with the exception of those provisions dealing exclusively with requirements for paper.  Electronic bookmarks to each topic heading in the text (as listed in the table of contents) in briefs are recommended, and required for all briefs exceeding forty (40) pages.

(3)  Motions and Original Proceedings.  All motions and original proceedings must include electronic bookmarks to each section heading in the text (as listed in the table of contents), and to the first page of any exhibit(s), with the exhibit number or letter and a description of the exhibit included in the bookmark.

Pleadings and exhibits not properly formatted may be rejected.

Electronic bookmarks are not required in any briefs that do not exceed 40 pages.  All writ petitions, on the other hand, must include electronic bookmarks.  If a motion does not include a table of contents and does not include any exhibits, no electronic bookmarks are required.  If a motion contains exhibits but no table of contents, electronic bookmarks are required for the exhibits.  FDAP also recommends including a bookmark for the title caption on the first page of any motion containing exhibits so that the reader can easily navigate back to the first page.

Programs Capable of Creating Electronic Bookmarks in PDFs

There are a number of programs available that may be used to create the electronic bookmarks required by Local Rule 16(b).  A few such programs are listed below:

FDAP is not recommending or endorsing any product mentioned above, but we are instead providing this information to alert the panel that there are different options for creating the required bookmarks and to help the panel get started with researching the various alternatives.  Please note that some of these programs only work with Windows and others only work with Macs.  Many of these programs also have a free trial version available so you may be able to try the product first.

Mac users, please note that although the Preview application built into Apple’s OS X operating system offers a feature for addingbookmarks to PDFs, bookmarks created using Preview do not comply with Local Rule 16’s requirements.  Preview may, however, be used to read and navigate PDFs that already have bookmarksembedded in them.

What Are PDF Electronic Bookmarks?

The Central California Appellate Project (CCAP) recently prepared some useful documents providing an overview of electronic bookmarks and instructions for creating electronic bookmarks in two PDF management programs. Visit CCAP’s “What is a Bookmark in a PDF?” primer: (Please note that CCAP’s documents refer to Local Rule 8(b), which is the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s electronic filing rule that governs the format of electronically filed documents, including that court’s electronic bookmark requirement.)

CCAP has also prepared a sample brief with PDFbookmarks. (Please note that you will need to download the sample brief and open it in a PDF viewing program in order for the PDF bookmarks to display properly.  You will not be able to see or access the bookmarks if you only open the sample brief in your Internet browser.)

Instructions for Creating Electronic Bookmarks in PDFs

CCAP has also prepared “Instructions for Adding Bookmarks Using Adobe Acrobat” and “Instructions for Adding Bookmarks Using Foxit Reader.”   Adobe Acrobat is not a free program.  Foxit Reader is a free program.

By providing the instructions below, neither FDAP nor CCAP is recommending or endorsing any specific software.  These instructions were created to show some of the many available options for creating bookmarks in a PDF.  While there are many ways to create PDF bookmarks, FDAP will only able to provide instructions on how to use a couple of these programs.  Readers are encouraged to independently research the different software that is available and to determine which program fits their needs – and computer operating system – best.

As FDAP gains more experience with electronic bookmarks – and gathers feedback from the panel too – we will provide additional information to the panel with the aim of making this transition as painless as possible.

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