U.S. Supreme Court Rule Changes: Less Words, Less Time To File Reply Briefs, And More Disclosures

April 22, 2019 8:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The U.S. Supreme Court has adopted three amendments to its rules that will take effect on July 1, 2019.


The first limits parties' merits briefs to 13,000 words. The current rule permits merits briefs up to 15,000 words. In a summary explaining the rule change, the Court emphasized that, in its experience, parties could ably present their arguments in less than 15,000 words. 


The second rule change requires parties to file their reply briefs by 2 p.m., 10 days before oral argument. Previously, parties could submit their reply briefs a week before oral argument. The purpose of this change is to give the Court more time to review reply briefs before argument.


Finally, the Court will require parties filing certiorari petitions to identify any state or federal cases, in both trial and appellate courts, that are "directly related" to the case at issue. The Court explained that this rule will assist the justices in determining whether they need to recuse themselves from a case.

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