Appeal schedules for discretionary workers’ compensation appeals


Here's something I didn't know, although it's right there in the rules (M.R.App.Pro. 23(c)92)(B) & (C))- workers comp appeals are simultaneously briefed.  Each side files its brief at the same time, and each files a reply at the same time. 

Why is that?  The Advisory Committee Notes from 2001 and 2003 don't say.  It looks like this simultaneous briefing provision was a part of M.R.Civ.P. 73(i), before the rules of appellate procedure were separated out.   But that's after Field & McKusick was published, and the Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 73 aren't kept on line on the court web site.  So the only way I know of finding those notes – sometime between 1981 and 2001 – is to either be Paul Mills and have the history of the Maine embedded in your brain or wade through the hard copy Atlantic Reporters.  Showing obsessive compulsive tendencies, I started to wade, to find the initial amendment to the rules adding Rule 73(i) on Dec. 11, 1981 — but saying nothing about simultaneous briefing.  Since I am not so compulsive that I will proceed to wade through the remainder of the 20 years of Atlantic reporters up to 2001, it will have to remain a mystery.

I suppose workers' comp appeals are treated differently because they are discretionary, so there's already been one round of briefing before the right to appeal is granted.  Still, there's nothing inherent in discretionary appeals that suggests simultaneous briefing thereafter — there isn't simultaneous briefing, for example, in the U.S. Supreme Court upon certiorari.     

Maybe I will give Paul a call.