Signatures
Last updated: 06/29/12

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REMINDER:  Just documents which exist only in paper should be scanned.  For all other documents, the court prefers PDFs created by converting the original electronic (word processing) version directly to PDF.  Per Local Rule 5-1, you do not need to scan a document just to prove the presence of signatures.

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  1. Does the attorney need to create an "electronic signature" for efiling?
    Do I have to scan the attorney's signature?
    Does the court need an image of the attorney's signature in efiled documents?

  2. What about a document that has signatures besides the attorney's? Must they be scanned?

  3. What is a "conformed signature" and how is it used?

  4. What is a "signature attestation"?

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SG01

Does the attorney need to create an "electronic signature" for efiling?
Do I have to scan the attorney's signature?
Does the court need an image of the attorney's signature in  efiled documents?

No!  We already have an ink copy of the attorney's signature on file when it was submitted on the District Court Bar or pro hac vice application(s).  Per Local Rule 5-1, all documents submitted under the attorney's login and password are automatically considered signed by that attorney, so the login and password are considered the attorney's "electronic signature".  You may indicate that the document is signed by the attorney using a conformed signature in place of a scan.

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SG02

What about a document that has signatures besides the attorney's?  Must it be scanned?

No. Per Local Rule 5-1, any document which is signed by someone other than the attorney who e-files it does not need to be scanned. You may use a conformed signature as long as the e-filing attorney includes the signature attestation.

Per Local Rule 5-1, another option for documents that have signatures other than, or in addition to, that of the efiling attorney is to attach a scanned image of just the signature page(s) to the efiled document in lieu of the signature attestation. This may be efiled as a separate Exhibit attachment to the main filing, or as a separate Exhibit efiling.

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SG03

What is a "conformed signature" and how is it used?

A conformed signature is used to indicate that a "real" signature is in place on an original.

Simply have a signature block of the form:

 /S/ (name of person who signed the document)

 

Example 1:
 /S/  John Doe

- or -

 
Example 2:
        /S/
  John Doe

IMPORTANT: Please see the signature attestation FAQ.

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SG04

What is a "signature attestation"?

Per Local Rule 5-1, a signature attestation is required to state that the efiling attorney has the original signatures on-file for any signatures which are not imaged, but  indicated only with a conformed signature within an efiling.

This attestation is required if any signature is indicated only with a conformed signature, even for other attorneys within the same firm (registered for ECF or not) 

This attestation is NOT required:

  1. For the efiling attorney's own signature
  2. When signatures are scanned into the main efiled document
  3. When signatures are attached as a scanned "signature page exhibit" to the efiled document

The attestation may be incorporated anywhere within the body of the document, or in a separate document which is attached (like an exhibit) to the e-filing.

The attorney may phrase their declaration any way they wish, but the court offers this example:

I hereby attest that I have on file all holograph signatures for any signatures indicated by a "conformed" signature (/S/) within this efiled document.

The original with the holograph (ink) signature should be kept by the filing attorney for subsequent production for the court, if so ordered, or for inspection upon request by a party until one year after final resolution of the action (including appeal, if any).

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