RULES OF SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA

PART A. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

RULE VII. BRIEFS

Section 1. Not less than one original and fifteen legible copies of each brief must be filed. Briefs may be printed or produced by any duplicating or copying process which produces a clear black image on white paper, or they may be typewritten. Carbon copies and photocopies produced on wet copiers are not acceptable.

Section 2. Briefs may be printed or lithographed in pamphlet or book form 6 X 9 inches in size, or they may be typewritten or otherwise produced on either letter or legal size white. Except for matters customarily single-spaced and indented, all typewritten briefs must be double-spaced. With the exception of matters which are customarily indented, margins of at least 3/4 inch, but no more than 1 1/4 inches, shall be maintained on the left, right and bottom of all pages. Margins of no less than 1 1/2 inches, but no more than 2 inches, shall be maintained at the top of each page. Briefs shall be bound in at least two places along the top margin (metal fasteners or staples are preferred). No part of the text of the brief shall be obscured by the binding. No less than 11 point typeface, but no more than 12 point typeface, shall be used.

Briefs in civil cases shall not exceed 25 legal size pages or 35 letter size pages, exclusive of the cover page and the index of authorities. Briefs in criminal cases shall not exceed 35 legal size pages or 50 letter size pages, exclusive of the cover page and the index of authorities. Briefs in criminal capital cases shall not exceed 85 legal size pages or 115 letter size pages, exclusive of the cover page and the index of authorities.

Section 3. Briefs shall state on the front cover or the first page the following: (1) the words, SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA; (2) the docket number of the case in this court; (3) the title of the case as it appears on the docket of this court; (4) the name or title of the court and the name of the parish from which the case came, a statement whether it came on appeal or in response to a writ, and the name of the judge who rendered the decision or ruling complained of (for example: "Appeal from the Thirty-Fifth Judicial District Court, Parish of Napoleon, John Smith, District Judge", or "Writ of Review to the Court of Appeal, Blank Circuit, Parish of Napoleon"); (5) a statement showing on whose behalf the brief is filed, and whether as plaintiff, defendant, intervenor, amicus curiae, or otherwise, and whether as appellant, appellee, applicant, petitioner, relator or respondent, and whether the brief is original or supplemental, and whether in support of or opposition to a motion, writ, rehearing, or otherwise, or on the merits; and (6) the name of the attorney or attorneys, with address and telephone number, by whom the brief is filed, and a designation of the party or parties represented.

Section 4. The brief for the appellant, applicant or relator, as the case may be, shall set forth (1) an index of the authorities cited; (2) a concise statement of the case; (3) a specification of the alleged errors complained of; and (4) an argument free from unnecessary repetition and confined strictly to the issue or issues of the case.

Section 5. The brief for the appellee, or respondent, as the case may be, shall contain an index of the authorities cited and such statement of the case and such argument as may be deemed necessary.

Section 6. When a brief is filed for a criminal review, the argument on the assignment of error must include a suitable reference by page number, or by any more precise method of location, to the place(s) in the transcript which contains the basis for the alleged error. If the party fails to do so, the court may disregard that argument. The court may consider as abandoned any assignment of error which has not been briefed.

Section 7. The language used in any brief or document filed in this court must be courteous, and free from insulting criticism of any person, individually or officially, or of any class or association of persons, or of any court of justice, or other institution. Any violation of this rule shall subject the author or authors of the brief or document to the humiliation of having the brief or document returned, and to punishment for contempt of the authority of the court.

Section 8. (a) In all cases in which a writ application has been granted, except those specially assigned for argument under (c) below, the brief of the applicant or relator shall be filed not later than twenty-five days after the date that the writ is granted, and the brief of the respondent shall be filed not later than forty-five days after the date that the writ is granted. In all appeals, the brief of the appellant shall be filed not later than thirty days after the lodging of the record in this court and the brief of the appellee shall be filed not later than sixty days after the lodging of the record in this court. The briefing schedule for disciplinary proceedings will be governed by Supreme Court Rule 19, Section 11(G). In all instances, the briefs shall be accompanied by a certificate showing that a copy was delivered or mailed to the opposing counsel, or to the opposing litigant or litigants, if not represented by counsel.

(b) Failure to file briefs timely in accordance with the above provision shall forfeit the right of the party, so failing, to orally argue the case before the Court. In its discretion, the Court may nonetheless allow oral argument by a party who has failed to file briefs timely. The other party or parties, if they have complied, shall be entitled to oral argument. However, all parties must file briefs in every criminal case. [Amended effective March 21, 2002]

(c) In cases specially assigned for argument, this rule shall be complied with, if possible. But if the time between the date of fixing and argument be insufficient to render a strict compliance feasible, it shall nevertheless be the duty of counsel to deliver briefs to their opponents at the earliest time practicable.

Section 9. Briefs sent through the mail shall be deemed timely filed if mailed on or before the due date. If the brief is received by mail on the first legal day following the expiration of the delay, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that it was timely filed. In all cases where the presumption does not apply, the timeliness of the mailing shall be shown only by an official United States postmark or by official receipt or certificate from the United States Postal Service made at the time of mailing which indicates the date thereof. For the purpose of this rule, the term "by mail" applies only to the United States Postal Service.

Section 10. An extension of time within which to file a brief will be granted at the discretion of the court and only in cases in which good cause is shown through written motion filed with the clerk of court on or before the date the brief would ordinarily be due under the appropriate rule. If an extension is granted on behalf of appellant, an extension of time is automatically accorded for the filing of the brief on behalf of appellee, and no action to obtain such an extension shall be necessary on the part of the appellee or his counsel. An extension will not be granted if the hearing and determination of the case will be retarded.

Section 11.1. Supplemental briefs on the merits, or briefs in support of or in opposition to motions, may be filed at any time. However, a brief filed without leave after the matter is argued or submitted may not be considered. [Amended effective March 29, 2006]

Section 11.2 Citation of Supplemental Authorities.

If pertinent and significant authorities come to a party’s attention after all original and reply briefs have been filed – or after oral argument but before decision – a party may promptly advise the clerk by letter, with a copy to all other parties, setting forth the citations. The letter shall be limited to: (a) the name and citation of the opinion or authority; (b) the issue raised by the case which is pertinent to the issues raised in the case pending before this Court; and (c) a citation to the page number of where this point has been raised in briefs before this Court or, if not raised in briefs and dealt with in oral argument only, where and how this issue arose during oral argument. The body of the letter shall not exceed 350 words. Any response must be made promptly and must be similarly limited. No response to the response shall be allowed. This Section 11.2 letter shall not contain argument; if a party desires to make an argument or to exceed 350 words, the party shall file a motion for permission to file a supplemental brief pursuant to Section 11.1 of this Rule. [Amended effective March 29, 2006]

Section 12. Brief of an amicus curiae.

A brief of an amicus curiae may be filed only by leave of court granted upon motion and notice to the parties. The amicus curiae brief shall be conditionally filed with the motion for leave. A motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief must include consideration of and satisfaction of at least one of the following criteria:

(1) Amicus has an interest in some other case involving a similar question;

(2) There are matters of fact or law that might otherwise escape the court's attention; or

(3) The amicus has substantial, legitimate interests that will likely be affected by the outcome of the case and which interests will not be adequately protected by those already party to the case.

An amicus curiae brief which does not meet these criteria, or which merely repeats the position(s) taken by a party, burdens the staff and facilities of the court and its filing is not favored.

A motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief, and the conditionally filed amicus curiae brief, shall be filed within the time allowed for the filing of a brief by the party whose position as to affirmance or reversal the amicus brief will support. The motion for leave to file an amicus brief shall not exceed 5 pages in length; an amicus curiae brief shall not exceed 15 legal size pages or 20 letter size pages in length.

No reply brief of an amicus curiae and no brief of an amicus curiae in support of a petition for rehearing will be accepted.

RULE VII APPENDIX

The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be entitled to receive the filing fee set forth in Rule IV for the filing of any motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief in this Court. This fee shall not be assessed by the Clerk when the motion for leave is presented by the State of Louisiana. [Amended effective July 1, 2013]