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December 15, 2015
New Rules Concerning Briefs Filed in Maryland’s Appellate Courts Take Effect January 1
(ANNAPOLIS, Md. – December 15, 2015) On January 1, 2016, new rules will go into effect that alter how documents filed in Maryland’s appellate courts will look and how long they can be. The new rules set forth the requirements for type size, spacing, margins, and word count for briefs filed in the Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals, as well as for petitions for writ of certiorari in the Court of Appeals. The new rules are expected to help increase the readability of these documents, as well as standardize their size and appearance.
Under the new rules, the length of briefs and petitions will be measured by the number of words, rather than page length. Litigants will be required to certify the number of words that are in the documents.
Maryland Rule 8-503 sets forth the new requirements for appellate briefs; Rule-8-303, for petitions for writ of certiorari. Rule 8-112 states the new compliance requirement. The form for the Certification of Word Count and Compliance required to be filed with these documents is available on the Maryland Judiciary website.
Overviews of the new requirements and certification forms are available online:
- Filing briefs in the Court of Appeals (www.mdcourts.gov/coappeals/filingbriefs20160101.html)
- Filing briefs in the Court of Special Appeals, including suggestions for how to determine word count (www.mdcourts.gov/cosappeals/filingbriefs201601.html)
More complete information is available in the rules order filed on September 17, 2015.
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