Several La. Supreme Court opinions released today
For “Bridging the Gap” attendees and other interested persons

Amendments to the Uniform Rules effective Jan. 1, 2014

The Louisiana Conference of Court of Appeal Judges has amended the Uniform Rules for Louisiana Courts of Appeal, effective January 1, 2014.  Click here to download a PDF copy of the amendments. For highlights of the amendments, read on.

The biggest changes are in the form and content of briefs. The page count is increased from 28 to 31 legal-size pages for original briefs (but still 13 legal-size pages for the reply brief). The reason for the increase is that all content of the brief will count against the page limit, except for the table of contents and table of authorities. Thus, the jurisdictional statement, assignments of error, and issues presented for review will now count against the page limit.

Under amended Rule 2-12.4, the content of briefs will become more similar to the content of U.S. Fifth Circuit briefs. The amended rule lists the elements of the brief and requires that they appear in the order indicated in the rule. Among the other changes are the following:

  • A table of authorities will be mandatory. It must include references to the pages in the brief where the authorities are cited.
  • The jurisdictional statement in the appellant’s brief must set forth specific facts and law establishing appellate jurisdiction. It must establish that the judgment appealed from is an appealable judgment, and it must establish that the appeal was timely. (I’ve covered the topic of jurisdictional statements in a prior blog post.)
  • A summary of the argument will be mandatory.
  • Each assignment of error and issue for review must have a corresponding statement of the standard of review. This statement may be included in the argument on that issue or may appear under a separate heading.

Another change concerns service of briefs and other papers. Service may be made under any means authorized by La. Code Civ. P. art. 1313. Article 1313(A)(4) authorizes electronic service. So come January 1, we can start serving our appellate briefs and motions by e-mail.

Amended Rule 2-11.4 clarifies the manner of requesting oral argument. The short version: You can’t do it in your brief. You have to do it by a separately filed piece of paper: either a motion for oral argument or a letter to the clerk of court requesting oral argument.

Finally, if you do administrative appeals, you’ll want to check out the amendments to Rules 3-1.1 and 3-1.2.

Many thanks to Chief Judge Vanessa Whipple of the Louisiana First Circuit for providing a copy of the amendments.

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