Briefs on Appeal
The brief is a party's written
argument filed with the Court of Appeals. The brief argues why the
trial court made a mistake. It must include citations to the record
and to cases, rules, or statutes, to support that argument. The
briefs must comply with specific format and length requirements.
You can find these in App.R. 16 and Local Rule 16, 18, and 19.
* The Court does not put on a briefing schedule.
The briefs are due based on the time limits in the Appellate Rules.
* Briefs must comply with the Appellate Rules and
Local Rules or they may be struck.
* The Court has created
templates to help you write your brief.
The appellant must file a brief in support of the
appellant's argument. Appellant's brief is due 20 days after the
clerk of courts has mailed the notice of filing the record. App.R.
The brief should set forth assignments of
errors followed by arguments that show the errors that occurred in the
trial court proceedings. The brief must include citations to the
record, Local Rule 16(D), and to law to support the argument.
Local Rule 16(A)(7). The law cited in the brief could be statutes,
rules, prior court decisions, or a combination of all three. Local
Rule 16 explains the format requirements for a brief.
Appellee's Brief and Appellant's Reply
The appellee, the party that won in the trial
court, may file a brief, but is not required to do so. Appellee's
brief is due 20 dys after service of appellant's brief.
If appellee files a brief, appellant may file a reply brief, a shorter
brief that only responds to appellee's argument. The reply brief
should not make new arguments; it should only reply to appellee's
arguments. Local Rule 16(C). The reply brief is due ten days
after service of appellee's brief. App.R. 18(A).
Appellant's brief must include an appendix that includes the
order from which you have appealed. You should not include other
documents or materials; the Local Rules only permit the order appealed
to be included in the appendix. Local Rule 16(A)(11). You also cannot add new evidence in the appendix
to the brief. The court of appeals can only consider evidence that
was presented to the trial court, and that evidence will be in the
record, so it should not be attached to your brief in the appendix.
You can learn about preparing your brief by viewing this
presentation - Guide to
Brief Preparation. You can also view a sample brief, with tips
about preparing your brief, here. The
Court has also prepared templates which are Word
documents that you can use to write your briefs. You
can also use this Brief Checklist
to make sure you have prepared a brief that complies with the Court's
If your brief does not comply with the
Appellate Rules or this Court's Local Rules, the Court of Appeals will file an
order giving you additional time to correct the problems. If you
do not respond to that order, the appeal may be dismissed.