On August 17, 2018, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) issued new procedural rules which go into effect Monday, September 17, 2018. The substantial overhaul of the former rules intends to bring the CBCA into the 21st century by emphasizing, adding, and clarifying rules about electronic filing.
Efiling is now common practice in many, if not most, federal courts, saving claimants and appellants both time and money. Electronic filings, or “efilings” are defined by the CBCA as any “documents submitted through the Board’s email system.”
Along with more specific file size and format requirements for efilings, perhaps most importantly, the new rules change the CBCA filing deadline from 4:30 PM Eastern Time, in accordance with the Board’s regular business hours, to midnight Eastern Time. The new midnight deadline brings the CBCA into conformity with many other federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and is good news for those of us looking for a few more minutes to file.
In addition to amending the filing deadline, CBCA’s new rules also now allow appellants to file their “appeal files” “in an electronic storage medium (e.g., hard disk or solid state drive, compact disc (CD), or digital versatile disc (DVD)), labeled with the docket number, case name, and range of exhibit numbers,” though appellants must still receive Board permission to submit an appeal file or supplement by email.
In contrast with the old rule that only allowed for hardcopy filing in “loose-leaf binders,” the CBCA’s new filing rules usher in more efficient and environmentally friendly filing procedures. While the new rules still permit paper filing, this method of filing is only allowed “by permission of the Board,” further promoting the use of filing by electronic means.
Overall, the CBCA’s new rules provide appellants with a little more time to file and a lot more savings on office supplies, printing, and postage costs.