by Max Brantley
The Arkansas Supreme Court, in just about the tersest way possible, has swiftly rejected Pulaski Clerk Pat O'Brien's pleading to overturn an order signed by 17 circuit judges that he delay destruction of paper copies of legal filings until the judges are confident the computerized filing system is working.
Here's the order. It expedited its decision and denied O'Brien's request without a hearing or comment.
O'Brien leaves office Jan. 1. His successor, Larry Crane, has said he'll delay destruction of paper files that his office has digitzed until judges are satisfied. Several judges have reported inability to find recent filings in the system during hearings this week. O'Brien has contended the system is fully functional. An electronic filing system is to begin later this year and most expect electronic recordkeeping to be in place before the year is out.
Said O'Brien in an e-mail: "While I'm disappointed in the Court's ruling I will certainly abide by it. I met with Larry Crane again today and will be focused on making the transition as smooth as possible."