As we’ve mentioned, the Advisory Committee has worked with Justice Alexander on potential changes to the rules. The results are now out and ready for public comment – Notice; Proposed Amendments.
The deadline is short – February 16 – so please move quickly.
The notice asks in particular about three of the (relatively) bigger substantive changes. There is nothing drastic here. The second one noted is an Appendix change to only including the mandatory materials, with addenda to the briefs to attach the optional parts. This approach takes care of the awkward timing issues we have now with identifying what goes into the Appendix before the briefs are done.
There is also now a proposed equivalent to a federal Rule 28(j) letter for noting authority after briefing – sort of. The proposed state counterpart only allows for filing such letters before argument, and requires a motion to cite authority after that. If you think that makes sense, or doesn’t, say so.
Finally, please think about the first change noted – adding a word count to a page limit. As proposed, the page limit is chopped again, but the word count alternative allows for briefs of the same size as in federal court. If you do not want only that further page limit, or do not want that proposed word count reduced, please send in a comment saying that.
Take any document you have and make it 14 point font and see how tiny that is. If you have more than one legal argument in your brief and the other side has responded to each argument and thrown in a jurisdictional argument, do you think you could reply in @12 pages? Or make all your points, with an extensive trial record, with a statement of facts and all the necessary brief components and multiple arguments, in an opening brief around 20 pages? If you don’t think that’s a good idea, speak up.