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Announcement of New BriefQC Functionality in CM/ECF

Monday, August 8, 2022

Announcement of New BriefQC Functionality in CM/ECF
Effective Date - Monday, August 15, 2022

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Clerk's Office is pleased to announce that on August 15, 2022, we will begin offering a new service called “Brief QC” which will automatically check your brief for compliance with the Federal and Eighth Circuit rules before you submit it for review in CM/ECF.

As you know, several years ago the court instituted a policy of having counsel use CM/ECF to submit the electronic version of the brief for review by the clerk’s office staff before the brief is filed and before counsel submit the paper copies of the brief. This process permits deficiencies to be corrected before filing and before counsel incur the expense of printing and transmitting the paper copies of the brief.

Last year, the court issued almost 1,700 Deficiency Notices. The number of Deficiency Notices for briefs creates a substantial amount of work for the clerk’s office and counsel. To address this, and hopefully reduce the number of Deficiency Notices, we have decided to adopt for use in our court a customized version of a brief quality control  program developed by the Fifth Circuit.  We have been testing the new BriefQC program internally on all attorney-filed briefs for several months, and we are ready to offer it to the bar as a final quality control check before you submit the brief for review by our office.

The program automatically reviews your briefs for formatting and other common problems after you choose the CM/ECF filing event “Brief Submitted for Review” and attach your brief. After you upload the PDF of your brief for submission, BriefQC works in the background to review the brief.   After the review is complete, if errors were found, you will see a new screen entitled “Documents Check Results,” which will list any errors which were noted.

At this point, you may  choose to either “Cancel” the submission event and leave CM/ECF so that you can correct the brief or you may proceed to file the brief “as is” by selecting the “Continue” option. If you choose “Cancel,” the brief submission event is terminated and no record is made on the docket sheet regarding the transaction. If you choose “Continue,”  you are submitting your brief for review by the clerk’s office. Of course, if no deficiencies have been noted, you should click “Continue.”

We hope that you will take advantage of BriefQC to correct any deficiencies before you submit the brief for review. We understand that filing deadlines will sometimes require counsel to “Continue” and submit a brief with deficiencies.   Please note that all briefs - corrected or not - will be  reviewed by our staff for compliance with the rules, and we may note issues that BriefQC is not quite smart enough to catch.  Even if your brief passes BriefQC, we may still  ask you to correct the brief before it can be filed.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Introduction to Brief Quality Control Program.pdf