On May 19, Tueth Keeney’s Jim Layton spoke on “The Leap from e-Filing to e-Briefing” at the Kansas Bar’s 2017 Appellate Practice CLE in Topeka, Kansas. Jim is a member and former Chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers. As part of the Council, in 2016 Jim served on the committee that researched and wrote the report from which Jim’s presentation took its name: “The Leap from E-Filing to E-Briefing: Recommendations and Options for Appellate Courts to Improve the Functionality and Readability of E-Briefs.” The report includes a set of recommendations and rationales for rules and practices with regard to electronic briefs.
In his Kansas presentation, Jim gave reasons that reading briefs in electronic formats—reading on screens—is different from reading briefs on paper, and how those reasons affect the writing and formatting of briefs. He discussed recommendations made in the ABA report, and his own recommendations for writing and formatting legal documents that are filed and read electronically. Judge Stephen D. Hill of the Kansas Court of Appeals then joined Jim in taking questions from the audience and sharing their experiences and thoughts on electronic briefs.
Jim has spoken many times on this and other legal writing topics—most recently addressing e-briefing and critiquing students at an intensive legal writing seminar sponsored by the National Attorneys General Teaching and Research Institute (NAGTRI) in Savannah, Georgia in April. He will return to the NAGTRI faculty for a program on motions practice in St. Paul, Minnesota in August.
James Layton leads the firm’s Appellate practice group and is a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Labor, and Education groups. He assists clients with analysis and presentation of complex legal issues in Missouri and federal courts, both trial and appellate. In addition to handling cases himself and with other attorneys at Tueth Keeney, Jim consults with clients on appellate strategy and assists other counsel in high-stakes, complex appeals.
Jim has briefed and argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and before all Missouri appellate courts—including more than 90 cases before the Missouri Supreme Court. He has represented clients in U.S. district courts and in Missouri circuit courts from Jackson County to the City of St. Louis. He has extensive experience with government-related litigation and state taxation disputes. Jim is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a past president of the Bar Association of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and a past chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers. He is a frequent speaker in the areas of appellate practice and constitutional law, both state and federal.