Appellate Advocacy III – Compliance with Supreme Court Rules
Rule 24. Briefs on the Merits: In General
1. A brief on the merits for a petitioner or an appellant shall comply in all respects with Rules 33.1 and 34 and shall contain in the order here indicated:
(a) The questions presented for review under Rule 14.1(a). The questions shall be set out on the first page following the cover, and no other information may appear on that page. The phrasing of the questions presented need not be identical with that in the petition for a writ of certiorari or the jurisdictional statement, but the brief may not raise additional questions or change the substance of the questions already presented in those documents. At its option, however, the Court may consider a plain error not among the questions presented but evident from the record and otherwise within its jurisdiction to decide.
(b) A list
of all parties to the proceeding in the court whose judgment is under review
(unless the caption of the case in this Court contains the names of all
parties). Any amended corporate disclosure statement as required by Rule 29.6
shall be placed here.
(c) If the brief exceeds five pages, a table of contents and a table of cited authorities.
(d) Citations of the official and unofficial reports of the opinions and orders entered in the case by courts and administrative agencies. [State the opinions are not officially reported but appear in the Transcript of Record at . . . (see samples)]
concise statement of the basis for jurisdiction in this Court, including the
statutory provisions and time factors on which jurisdiction rests.
(f) The constitutional provisions, treaties, statutes, ordinances, and regulations involved in the case, set out verbatim with appropriate citation. If the provisions involved are lengthy, their citation alone suffices at this point, and their pertinent text, if not already set out in the petition for a writ of certiorari, jurisdictional statement, or an appendix to either document, shall be set out in an appendix to the brief. [Appendix optional]
(g) A concise statement of the case, setting out the facts material to the consideration of the questions presented, with appropriate references to the joint appendix, e.g., App. 12, or to the record, e.g., Record 12.
(h) A summary of the argument, suitably paragraphed. The summary should be a clear and concise condensation of the argument made in the body of the brief; mere repetition of the headings under which the argument is arranged is not sufficient.
(i) The argument, exhibiting clearly the points of fact and of law presented and citing the authorities and statutes relied on.
(j) A conclusion specifying with particularity the relief the party seeks.
on the merits for a respondent or an appellee shall conform to the foregoing
requirements, except that items required by subparagraphs 1(a), (b), (d), (e),
(f), and (g) of this Rule need not be included unless the respondent or appellee
is dissatisfied with their presentation by the opposing party.
3. A brief on
the merits may not exceed the page limitations specified in
the Ellison Competition rules. An appendix to a brief may
include only relevant material, and counsel are cautioned not to include in an
appendix arguments or citations that properly belong in the body of the brief.
5. A reference to the . . . record set out in any brief shall indicate the appropriate page number. . . [Cite to the problem as your record]
document, whether prepared under Rule 33.1 or Rule 33.2, shall comply with the
1. Each document shall bear on its cover, in the order indicated, from the top of the page:
(a) the docket number of the case or, if there is none, a space for one;
(b) the name of this Court;
(c) the caption of the case as appropriate in this Court;
(d) the nature of the proceeding and the name of the court from which the action is brought (e.g., "On Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit"; or, for a merits brief, "On Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit");
(e) the title of the document (e.g., "Petition for Writ of Certiorari," "Brief for Respondent," "Joint Appendix");
name of the attorney who is counsel of record for the party concerned (who must
be a member of the Bar of this Court except as provided in Rule 33.2), and on
whom service is to be made, with a notation directly thereunder identifying the
attorney as counsel of record and setting out counsel's office address and
telephone number. Only one counsel of record may be noted on a single document.
The names of other members of the Bar of this Court or of the bar of the highest
court of a State acting as counsel, and, if desired, their addresses, may be
added, but counsel of record shall be clearly identified. Names of persons other
than attorneys admitted to a state bar may not be listed, unless the party is
appearing pro se, in which case the party's name, address, and telephone
number shall appear. The foregoing shall be displayed in an appropriate
typographic manner and, except for the identification of counsel, may not be set
in type smaller than standard 11-point, if the document is prepared as required
by Rule 33.1.
foregoing shall be displayed in an appropriate typographical manner and
except for identification of counsel, may not be set in type smaller than
standard 11-point , if the document is prepared as required by Rule 33.1.
2. Every document exceeding five pages (other than a joint appendix), whether prepared under Rule 33.1 or Rule 33.2, shall contain a table of contents and a table of cited authorities (i.e., cases alphabetically arranged, constitutional provisions, statutes, treatises, and other materials) with references to the pages in the document where such authorities are cited.
3. The body of
every document shall bear at its close the name of counsel of record and such
other counsel, identified on the cover of the document in conformity with
subparagraph 1(g) of this Rule, as may be desired.
4. Every appendix to a document must be preceded by a table of contents that provides a description of each document in the appendix.
5. All references to a provision of federal statutory law should ordinarily be cited to the United States Code, if the provision has been codified therein. In the event the provision has not been classified to the United States Code, citation should be to the Statutes at Large. Additional or alternative citations should be provided only if there is a particular reason why those citations are relevant or necessary to the argument.