Appellate Law

Another Reduction in Appellate Brief Length on the Horizon

, The Legal Intelligencer


Attorneys who practice in the Pennsylvania state appellate courts have recently had to adjust to a considerable reduction in the maximum permissible length of appellate briefs. Under the old rules, the maximum length of a party's principal brief was 70 pages of 12-point type, which translated to approximately 17,500 words, assuming an average of 250 words of text per page. Under the new rules, which are now in effect, a party's principal brief is limited to only 14,000 words in 14-point type. The reduction in size of principal briefs from the old rule to the new was 20 percent.

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What's being said

  • Jeffrey Spangler

    While attending The Dickinson School of Law from 1975-78, I recall Professor William Dodd reminding us that "there‘s a reason they‘re called briefs." True then and true now. Excess bloviation is an affectation by smart people who ought to be able to control and condense their thoughts.

  • Celia C. Elwell, RP

    In Oklahoma, the Supreme Court limit for appellate briefs is 30 pages. You must ask for express permission for an increase to 40 pages. For what it‘s worth, I agree with the Third Circuit judge and for the same reasons.

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