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Doing More with Less: Forthcoming Changes to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure

On November 2, 2016 by Schnader

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure are set to take effect on December 1, 2016.  Based on the proposed amendments, appellate practitioners must prepare to do more with less.  Several proposed amendments reduce the maximum length of various filings.  For example, in cases where no cross appeal has been taken, amended Rule 37 will reduce the word limit for principal briefs from 14,000 to 13,000 words.  In addition to decreasing word limits, the amended rules also contain one significant decrease in time: the three-day grace period for responding to papers that were filed by electronic means will be removed.  Additionally, the proposed amendment to Rule 4(a)(4)(A) resolves a circuit split over the time for filing a notice of appeal when a motion that is untimely under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure has been filed with the district court.  It is time to dust off the blue pencils and reset the filing clocks.


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