Ebriefs/Electronic Briefs: How Do I Hyperlink Court Briefs?

Hyperlinking court documents for filing can be a tough task.  We know, as we have been doing it since the mid-1990s.  These hyperlinked documents are usually called e-briefs or electronic briefs.  Some firms call them ibriefs and other similar names.  In general, all of these terms describe the same thing: a group of hyperlinked pdf documents that facilitates the easy reading of a brief submitted to a court.

Here are 10 basic tips to getting started on building your own e-brief:

  1. Get all Documents in Electronic Format: You will want to scan all documents that your brief will link to and convert them to pdf format.

  2. Creating Searchable Documents: If you want to be able to search your hyperlinked, you need to make sure they were OCR'd when scanned or use Acrobat Pro's built in OCR functions.

  3. Build Your Hyperlinking Team:  Since turnaround times are usually short, often a day or two, you will usually need to split up the hyperlinking among many people.

  4. Break Up the Brief into Small Chucks but Centralize the Content:  If you want to build links that work regardless of location, it is essential to build the e-brief using documents stored in one locations, such as a file server.

  5. Make Sure Each Person Linking Has a License to Acrobat Pro: Obviously, there is no way to share licenses and they run hundreds of dollars a piece.

  6. Use Adobe Acrobat's Hyperlinking Tool:  Build each of your hyperlinks and back up your electronic brief frequently

  7. Re-Assemble Your Distributed E-Brief Parts

  8. Check Every Link for Accuracy:  Quality control in the e-briefing process is essential as even one bad link can destroy trust and the reading experience for the judge or clerk.  Make sure relative links are converted to absolute links.

  9. Build an Intuitive Interface:  There are many tools available on the web that allow an interface to be built.  A simple user interface can even be built in Acrobat.

  10. Distribute the E-Brief on DVD or USB Flash Drive:  Be careful to make sure you do not break your links by moving relative

We hope this guide helps you get started on building an e-brief.  Please contact our firm if we can be of assistance to you in creating an electronic brief.  We create them for documents of all sizes, do so on a reasonable budget and we always deliver on time.