As most of you know, the word limits for briefs filed in U.S. Courts of Appeals were recently reduced (e.g. from 14,000 words to 13,000 for opening briefs). Perhaps to offset the effect of that amendment on some cases, the U.S. Fifth Circuit is proposing an amendment to 5th Cir. R. 32.4 that will make it easier to obtain leave to file a brief in excess of the word limit. If promulgated, the new rule will do two things:
- While parties will still be required to file their motion for leave at least 10 days before their briefing deadline, they will no longer have to file a draft copy of the brief along with the motion.
- The court is removing the language saying that “[t]he court looks upon such motions with great disfavor and will grant them only for extraordinary and compelling reasons.”
The court is accepting comments on the proposed change through March 6, 2017. To read the text of the proposed amendment and to comment electronically, follow this link.