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Rule 24. Principal and reply briefs.

(a) Principal briefs. Principal briefsmust contain under appropriateheadings and in the order indicated:

???? (a)(1)?Alist of current and former parties. ?The list of parties must include:

(a)(1)(A)all partiesto the proceeding in the appellate court andtheir counsel; and

(a)(1)(B) listedseparately, all parties to the proceeding in the court or agency whosejudgment or order is under review that are not parties in theappellate court proceeding.

???? (a)(2) ?A tableof contents. The table of contentsmust list the sectionsof the brief with page numbersand the items in the addendum with the item number.

???? (a)(3) A table of authorities. The table of authorities mustlist all cases alphabetically arranged, rules, statutes, and other authorities cited, with references to the pages on which they arecited.

???? (a)(4) An introduction. The introduction should describe the nature and context of the disputeand explain why the party should prevail on appeal.

???? (a)(5) A statementof the issue. Thestatement of the issuemust set forth the issue presentedfor review, including foreach issue:

????????????? (a)(5)(A) the standardof appellate review with supporting authority; and

????????????? (a)(5)(B) citation to the record showing that the issue was preservedfor review; or a statement of groundsfor seeking review of anissue not preserved.

???? (a)(6)A statement of the case. The statement of the case must include,with citations to the record:

????????????????? (a)(6)(A)the factsof the case, to the extent necessary to understand the issues presented for review;

????????????????? (a)(6)(B) the procedural history of the case, to the extent necessary to understand theissues presented for review; and

????????????????? (a)(6)(C)the disposition in the court or agency whose judgment or order isunder review.

???? (a)(7) A summaryof the argument. The summary of the argument must contain a succinct statement of the argumentsmade in the body of the brief.

???? (a)(8) An argument. The argument must explain, with reasoned analysis supportedby citations to legal authority and the record, why theparty should prevail on appeal.

???? (a)(9) A claim for attorney fees. A party seeking attorney fees forwork performed on appealmust state the requestexplicitly and set forth the legal basisfor an award.

???? (a)(10)A short conclusion. Theconclusion may summarize the party?s positionand must statethe specific relief soughton appeal.

???? (a)(11)A certificate of compliance. The filer mustcertify that the brief complieswith:

???? ????????????? (a)(11)(A) paragraph (g), governing the number of pagesor words (the filer may rely on the word count of theword processing systemused to prepare the brief);and

????????????????? (a)(11)(B) Rule 21, governing public and private records.

???? (a)(12) An addendum. Subjectto Rule 21(g), the addendummust contain a copy of:

????????????????? ?(a)(12)(A) any constitutional provision, statute, rule, or regulation of central importancecited in the brief but not reproducedverbatim in the brief;

????????????????? (a)(12)(B) the order,judgment, opinion,or decision under review and any related minute entries,findings of fact, andconclusions of law; and

????????????????? (a)(12)(C) materials in therecord that are the subject of the dispute and thatare of central importance tothe determination of the issues presented for review,such as challenged jury instructions, transcript pages, insurance policies,leases, search warrants, or real estate purchase contracts.

(b) Reply brief. Theappellant or petitioner may file a replybrief. A replybrief must be limitedto responding to the factsand arguments raised in the appellee?s orrespondent?s principal brief. The reply briefmust include:

???? (b)(1) atable of contents, as required by paragraph (a)(2);

???? (b)(2) a table of authorities, as requiredby paragraph (a)(3);

???? (b)(3) anargument, as required by paragraph (a)(8);

???? (b)(4) a conclusion, as requiredby paragraph (a)(10); and

???? (b)(5) a certificateof compliance, as required by paragraph(a)(11).

(c) No furtherbriefs; joining or adoptingthe brief of another party. No further briefs may be filed except with leaveof the appellate court.More than one party may join in a single brief. Any party may adopt by reference any part of the brief of another.

(d) References in briefs to partiesand others. Parties and other personsand entities shouldbe referred to consistently by the term, phrase, or name most pertinent to the issues on appeal. ?These may include descriptive terms based on the person or entity?s role in the dispute, or the designations used inthe trial court or agency, orthe names of parties. Unlessgermane to an issueon appeal, a party should not be describedsolely by the party?s procedural role in the case. The identity of minors should be protected by use ofdescriptive terms, initials, or pseudonyms.?In child welfare appeals, the surname of a minor must not be used normay a surname of a minor?s biological, adoptive, or foster parent be used.

(e) References to the record.

???? (e)(1)Statements of fact and referencesto proceedingsin the court or agency whose judgmentor order is under reviewmustbe supported by citation to the record. A citation must identify the page of the recordas marked by the clerk.

???? (e)(2) Areference to an exhibit must set forth the exhibit number.If the referenceis to evidence the admissibility of which is in controversy, the reference must set forth the pages of therecord at which the evidence was identified, offered, and receivedor rejected.

(f) References to legal authority. A reference to an opinion of the Utah SupremeCourt or the Utah Courtof Appeals issued on or after January1, 1999, must include the universal citation (e.g., 2015 UT 99, ? 3; or 2015 UT App 320, ? 6).

(g) Length of briefs.

???? (g)(1) Unless a brief complieswith the followingpage limits, it must comply withthe following word limits:

 

Type of brief

Page limit

Word limit

Legality of death sentence, principal brief

60

28,000

Legality of death sentence, reply brief

30

14,000

Other cases, principal brief

30

14,000

Other cases, reply brief

15

7,000

???? (g)(2) Headings, footnotes, and quotations counttoward the page or word limit, but the table of contents, table of authorities,and addendum, and any certificates ofcounsel do not.

(h) Permission to file over length brief.Although over length briefs are disfavored, a party may file a motionfor leave to file a brief that exceeds the page, or word limitations of this rule.The motion must state with specificitythe issues to be briefed, the number of additional pages, or words requested, and good causefor granting the motion.A motion filedat least 7 days before the brief is due or seekingthree or fewer additional pages, or 1,400or fewer additional words need not be accompanied by a copy of the proposedbrief. Otherwise, a copy of the proposed brief must accompanythe motion. If the motion is granted, the responding partyis entitled to an equalnumber of additional pages, or words without further order ofthe court. Whether the motion is granted or denied, the court will destroythe proposed brief.

?(i) Sanctions. The court on motion or on its own initiativemay strike or disregarda brief that contains burdensome, irrelevant, immaterial, or scandalous matters, and the courtmay assess an appropriate sanctionincluding attorney feesfor the violation.

(j) Notice of supplemental authorities. When authority of central importance to an issue comes to theattention of a party afterbriefing or oral argument but before decision, that party may file a notice of supplemental authority setting forth:

?????????? (j)(1) the citationto the authority;

?????????? (j)(2) a referenceeither to the page of the brief or to a point argued orally to which the authorityapplies; and

?????????? (j)(3)relevance of the authority. The body of the noticemust not exceed 350 words. Any other party may file a response no later than 7 days after service of the notice. The bodyof the response must not exceed 350 words.

 

Advisory Committee Notes

2017 amendments

The 2017 amendments substantially change the organization and content of briefs. An important objectiveof the amendments is to presentthe party?s case in logicalorder, in measuredincrements, and without unnecessary repetition. The principal briefof each party must meetthe same requirements.

Paragraph (a)(4). A party?s principalbrief should includean introduction. The author should focus the introduction on the important features of the case. The introduction to onecase may be only a few sentences, while a more complexcase may require a few paragraphs or perhapsa few pages. The objective of the introduction is to give the reader asense of the forest before detailing the trees.

Paragraph (a)(6). Thestatement of thecase should describe the facts surrounding the dispute and procedural history of the litigation, but only to the extentthat these are necessary to understand the issues. Describing a fact or circumstance or proceeding that has no bearingon the issues adds wordsof no value and distracts the reader.When stating a fact or describing a proceeding, a concise narrative is sometimesa better presentation than a numbered,itemized list. The party must cite to the places in the record that support the statement.

Paragraph (a)(8). The2017 amendments removethe reference to marshaling. State v. Nielsen, 2014 UT 10, 326 P.3d 645, holds that the failureto marshal is not a technicaldeficiency resulting in default,but is a manner in which an appellant may carry its burden of persuasionwhen challenging a findingor verdict.

Paragraph (a)(11). Thecertificate of compliance is expanded to include not only compliancewith the limit on the length of the brief, but also compliance with the public/private record requirements of Rule 21. Briefs,including the addendumcontaining trial court records, are public documents, increasingly available on the Internet. However, many trial court recordsare not public. If the authorneeds to includea non-public documentin an addendum or non-public information in the body of the brief, Rule21 requires that an identical, public brief be filed, but with the non-public information removed.

Paragraph (b). The purposeof a reply brief is to respondto the facts and argumentspresented in an appellee?s principalbrief, not to reiteratepoints alreadymade in the appellant?s principal brief, nor to introduce new matters that should have been raisedin that brief. Although not required, it is good practice to identify the point that is beingresponded to.

Paragraph (d). Describing the actors in a disputeand litigation presents a challengeto the author of a brief. Consistency promotes clarity;having chosen a term, phrase, name, or initials to define a party, person, or entity, the authorshould use it throughout a brief.

The name of a minoris often a private record and caution shouldbe used to avoid includingother names or information from which a minormight be identified. A minor?s surname should be used only withthe informed consent of a matureminor. The author may file aprivate brief for the parties and the court using the minor?s name while simultaneously filing an otherwiseidentical public brief with the minor?s nameomitted, redacted,reduced to initials, or substituted with a placeholder name. A minormay be referred to by a descriptive term such as ?the child,??the 11-year old,? or ?the sister.? The biological, adoptive, or fosterparents of minors may be referred to by their relationto the minor, such as ?mother,? ?adoptiveparent,? or ?foster father.?

While the name of an adult is usuallya public record, the author shouldrecognize theintrusion into the livesof victims, witnesses, and others who are not principals in thedispute caused by a briefpublished on the Internet.Also, the use of names is disfavored when clarityand discretion can be promotedby use of a reference based on the person?srole in the dispute or the case. Partiesand other personsand entities shouldgenerally be referredto by their role in the dispute, such as ?employee,? ?Defendant Employer,? or ?the Taxpayer.? Descriptions suchas ?witness? or ?neighbor? can also be useful whilerespecting the interestsof non-parties. The reference chosen should be the one most relevant to the matters on appeal.

Paragraph (g). Becauseof the increasing rarity of monospaced font, the 2017 amendments eliminated the number of lines as a measureof a brief?s length. And to improvethe clarity of Rule 24, the 2017amendments moved the requirements for briefs in a cross-appeal to Rule 24A.

 

EffectiveNovember 1, 2017