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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 7.

The appellant must file a brief in support of the appellant's argument.  The appellee, the party that won in the trial court, may file a brief, but is not required to do so.  If the appellee files a brief, the appellant may file a reply a brief, a shorter brief that responds to the appellee's argument.

Your brief must include an appendix that includes the order from which you have appealed.  You should not include other documents or materials; the judges only want to see the order appealed in the appendix.  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.

If your brief does not comply with the Appellate Rules or this Court's Local Rules, this Court 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.

 

 

Brief Due Dates

The Court of Appeals does not create a briefing schedule.  The briefs must be filed according to the time periods found in the Appellate Rules, as described below.  These time periods begin to run automatically - you will not receive any notice from the Court of Appeals telling you when your brief is due.  If an appellant does not file a brief, the appeal may be dismissed. 

Appellant's brief is due within 20 days of the clerk's mailing of the notice of the filing of the record.  App.R. 18(A).  An appellant may file a certification of extension of time and receive one automatic 20-day extension of the due date.  Local Rule 18(A)(1).

Appellee's brief is due within 20 days of the service of the appellant's brief.  App.R. 18(A).  An appellee may file a certification of extension of time and receive one automatic 20-day extension of the due date.  Local Rule 18(A)(1).

 

Appellant's reply brief, if appellant chooses to file a reply brief, is due within 10 days after service of the appellee's brief.  App.R. 18(A). An appellant cannot file a certification of extension of time for a reply brief.  Local Rule 18(A)(1)(d).

 

When briefing is completed, the Court of Appeals schedules oral argument, if requested.  GO TO ORAL ARGUMENT

 

 

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