Clerk's Guide - Format for Briefs and Appendices
The color of the brief's cover must comply with Rule 20(a):
Blue - Appellant
Red - Appellee
Gray - Reply
Green - Intervenor and Amicus
White - Separately bound appendix volume(s)
The front covers of the brief and appendix must contain:
Name of the Appeals Court and the case's docket number;
Title of the case. The title of the case shall be docketed under the title given to the action in the lower court, with the appellant identified as such, but if such title does not contain the name of the appellant, the name identified as appellant shall be added to the title. See Rule 10(a)(3);
Nature of the proceeding (e.g., "On appeal from a final judgment entered in the Norfolk County Superior Court");
Title of the document (e.g., "Brief of the Plaintiff-Appellants, Curt Schilling and Green Monster, Inc." or "Transcript, volume II of V");
The counsel's name, BBO number, law firm name, address, telephone number, and effective May 1, 2010, counsel's e-mail address if any. For a self-represented litigant, appropriate identifying and contact information, including an e-mail address if any.
One original and six copies of a brief must be filed. If the appendix is divided into a pleadings volume, exhibits volume, and transcript volume, then seven copies of the pleadings volume(s), five copies of the exhibits volume(s), and two copies of the transcript volume(s) must be filed. Rule 19(b)(1).
Seven copies of the brief and appendix are required to be filed in the Appeals Court. Rule 19(b).
A brief must be typewritten in a monospaced font such as Courier, and the type size of the brief and footnotes must not exceed 10.5 characters per inch. Rule 20(a)(2) & 1999 Reporter's Notes.
Margins must be 1.5" on each side and 1.0" on the top and bottom. Rule 20(a)(1).
The principal brief of an appellant or appellee cannot exceed fifty pages, and a reply brief cannot exceed twenty pages. Rule 16(h). Motions to exceed the page limits are granted only for extraordinary reasons. Rule 16(h).
The appellant's brief is due forty days after entry of the case, and the appellee's brief is due thirty days after that; reply briefs are due fourteen days later. Rule 19(a). If the initial brief is served by mail, then three days are added to the due date for a responsive brief. Rule 14(c).
The Appellant's Brief.
The appellant's brief must contain:
A table of contents with page references. Rule 16(a)(1).
A table of authorities alphabetically arranged and with page references. Rule 16(a)(1).
A statement of the issues. Rule 16(a)(2).
A statement of the case that describes the case's nature and procedural history. Rule 16(a)(3).
A statement of the facts with appropriate references to the record appendix. Rules 16(a)(3) & 16(e).
A summary of the argument with page references, if the argument section exceeds 24 pages. Rule 16(a)(4).
An argument section containing citations to legal authorities. Rule 16(a)(4) & 16(g).
A conclusion stating the relief sought. Rule 16(a)(5).
An addendum containing copies of any written or oral findings or memorandum of decision pertinent to an issue on appeal. Rule 16(a)(6). The addendum should have a table of contents and be consecutively paginated.
An addendum containing copies of pertinent constitutional, statutory, rules, or regulations, etc., that were not otherwise reproduced in the brief. Rule 16(f). The addendum should have a table of contents and be consecutively paginated.
A certificate of compliance. Rule 16(k).
A certificate of service. Rule 13(d).
If impounded or confidential material is contained or referenced in the brief or appendix, the brief and appendix must conform to Rules 16(d), 16(m), and 18(g).
The Appellee's Brief.
The appellee's brief shall contain all of the infomration and sections stated above, except that a statement of issues and statement of case need not be made unless the appellee is dissatisfied with the statement of the appellant, see Rule 16(b), and the addendum required by Rule 16(a)(6) is not required in an appellee's brief.
Notably, even if the appellant's Rule 16(f) addendum included copies of the statutes, rules, or regulations that are also cited in the appellee's brief, the appellee's brief must reproduce the authorities as well.
If impounded or confidential material is contained or referenced in the brief, the brief must conform to Rules 16(d), 16(m), and 18(g).
The Record Appendix.
The appellant must file a record appendix. Rule 18(a).
In civil cases, the appendix shall contain: (1) the entire docket of the proceedings below; (2) any relevant portions of the pleadings, charge, findings, or opinion; (3) the judgment, order, or decision in question; and (4) any other parts of the record to which the parties wish to direct the particular attention of the court. Rule 18(a).
In criminal cases, the appendix need not contain relevant portions of the transcript, but shall contain: (1) the entire docket of the proceedings below; (2) a copy of the complaint or indictment; and (3) any paper filed in the case relating to an issue which is to be argued on appeal. Rule 18(a).
The appendix must contain only materials that are part of the record below. Rule 18.
The appendix must contain a table of contents. Rule 18(d).
Appendix pages must be consecutively numbered. Rule 18(d).
If impounded or confidential material is contained in the brief or appendix, the brief and appendix must conform to Rules 16(d), 16(m), and 18(g).
Notice Concerning Publication of Briefs and Appendices
Parties should be aware that briefs and appendices filed with the Appeals Court are sent to Thomson-Reuters for scanning. Briefs and appendices in public cases can be selected for inclusion in Westlaw's Massachusetts brief bank service. Westlaw subscribers have access to such briefs and appendices via the internet, and any member of the public may read public briefs and appendices in the Clerk's Office upon request. In light of the public nature of the appellate filings, parties must comply with the procedures for filing impounded or confidential information, as well as for personal identifying data. See Mass.R.A.P. 16(d), 16(m), 18(a), and 18(g); Supreme Judicial Court's Interim Guidelines for the Protection of Personal Identifying Data.