A Circuit Split Over 1,000 Words

November 1, 2016  |  The Insider: White Collar Defense and Securities Enforcement

Two weeks ago, as reported by Howard Bashman at How Appealing, the Second Circuit joined the Seventh, Ninth, and Federal Circuits on an issue that is dividing the Courts of Appeals:  Whether to reduce the word limits for federal appellate briefs by 1,000 words.  In particular, these circuits have all indicated their intention to opt out of a change to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, which otherwise goes into effect on December 1 this year, reducing the word limit for principal briefs on appeal from 14,000 to 13,000 words.  As mundane as this dispute may sound, the fact that these particular circuits—some of the country’s busiest—have gone to the trouble to deviate from the impending rule change in order to continue to allow for longer briefs deserves careful attention for what it may signal. [...]

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