1) Notice of Appeal. Any appeal from a decision of an administrative judge must be filed with the Department on the form prescribed by the Department not later than 30 days from the filing date of the decision, unless a late appeal is permitted by the Commissioner as provided by MGL c. 152, § 11C. A copy of the appeal shall be served by mail or in hand on counsel for each party or on each unrepresented party.
(2) Filing Fee. The filing fee or a request for its waiver shall be submitted to the Reviewing Board with the notice of appeal. The filing fee prescribed by MGL c. 152, § 11C shall be 30% of the average weekly wage in the Commonwealth at the time of payment. Any request for a waiver of the filing fee based on indigence shall be filed on a form prescribed by the Department.
(3) Reviewing Board. An administrative law judge may require counsel or pro-se litigants to appear for a conference to consider waiver of the filing fee, simplification of the issues on appeal, whether oral argument will be held, and any other matters that may aid in the disposition of the appeal.
(4) Briefs. Unless otherwise ordered by the Reviewing Board, a brief shall be filed by the appellant in all cases in accordance with the following provisions:
(a) Content: The brief of the appellant shall contain under appropriate headings and in the order here indicated:
1. A statement of the issues presented for review, stated with particularity. A statement that the decision on review is beyond the scope of the administrative judge's authority, arbitrary or capricious, or contrary to law, without more, shall not constitute a proper statement of the issues presented for review.
2. A statement of the case, which shall first indicate briefly the nature of the case, the course of proceedings and its disposition following conference and hearing. There shall follow a brief statement of the facts relevant to the issues presented for review, with appropriate references to the record.
3. The argument, which shall contain the contention of the appellant with respect to the issues presented, supporting rationale and citations to the authorities, statutes, rules, regulations and parts of the record on which the party relies. The Reviewing Board need not decide questions or issues not argued in the brief. If oral argument is permitted, nothing argued in the brief shall be deemed to be waived by a failure to argue the issue orally.
4. A short conclusion stating the precise relief sought.
5. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of counsel and their firms.
(b) Length and Form of Briefs: All briefs shall be produced as follows:
1. Except by permission of an administrative law judge, briefs shall not exceed thirty pages, exclusive of pages as may contain a table of contents, tables of citations and any addendum containing statutes, rules or regulations.
Permission shall not be granted unless the moving party specifies the relevant issue or issues and why such issues merit additional pages.
2. All briefs and appendices shall be produces by any duplicating or copying process that produces a clear black image on white paper, which shall be eight and one-half inches in width and eleven inches in height. The top, bottom, left and right margins shall be at least one inch. The typeface shall be 12 point Courier font or larger size and not exceeding 10.5 characters per inch. Text shall be double-spaced, except that arguments headings, footnotes and indented quotations shall be single-spaced. The text may appear on both sides of the page, but the numbered pages of the text shall not exceed the page limit set for the brief.
3. An administrative law judge may, on behalf of the reviewing board, accept briefs filed which are not in substantial compliance with these rules.
(c) Statutory Provisions. If determination of the issues presented requires consideration of statutory provisions, rules or regulations, or when an appeal involves the application of amendments to MGL c. 152, the parties shall reproduce all relevant sections of the original act and any later amendments, including all provisions regarding applicability and effective dates.
(d) Citations. References to decisions and other authorities shall include, in addition to the page at which the decision or section begins, a page reference to the particular material on which reliance is placed, and the year of the decision or other authority.
(e) Amicus Curiae. An amicus curiae shall notify the Reviewing Board of its intention to file a brief.
(f) Response Briefs. The brief of the appellee, cross-appellant, or amicus curiae shall conform to 452 CMR 1.15(4)(a) with the exception that a statement of issues and/or facts shall not be made unless the appellee or amicus curiae is dissatisfied with the statement of the appellant.
(g) Designation of Parties. In their briefs and oral arguments, counsel shall keep to a minimum references to parties by such designations as "appellant" and "appellee," instead using the designation used in the administrative judge's decision, the actual names of the parties, or descriptive terms such as "the employee", "the employer," and "the insurer".
(h) Time For Filing. Appellant shall file its brief 30 days after receipt of notification from the Reviewing Board that it is due. The appellee, cross-appellant or amicus curiae shall file its brief within 20 days of receipt of the appellant's brief. A reply brief may be filed by the appellant 20 days thereafter. No further briefs shall be filed without leave of the Reviewing Board. When there are cross-appeals, the party that files its appeal first shall be considered the appellant for the purpose of complying with the time requirements for the filing of briefs.
(i) Extension of Time. A request for an extension of time to file a brief shall be filed in writing with the Reviewing Board and shall state the length of extension requested and the specific reason for the request.
(j) Copies of Briefs. The original and four copies of each brief shall be filed with the Reviewing Board unless the Reviewing Board by order shall direct a different number to be filed. One copy shall be served by mail or in hand on counsel for each party or on each unrepresented party.
(5) Dismissal of Appeal. The Reviewing Board may dismiss an appeal or cross-appeal for the following reasons:
(a) Failure of the appellant, without good cause, to file a brief, unless filing has been waived by the Reviewing Board;
(b) Failure of the appellant or cross-appellant to submit a filing fee or a fee waiver form;
(c) Failure of the appellant or cross-appellant to appear at oral argument without good cause.
(6) Oral Argument. If it elects to hear oral argument, the Reviewing Board shall advise all parties and any amicus curiae of the time and place of hearing. A request for postponement of the argument shall be made by motion filed reasonably in advance of the date fixed for hearing. The appellant shall argue first. Each party shall be allowed 15 minutes for argument unless the time is extended or limited by the Reviewing Board. In advance of oral argument, a party may request additional time, which will be granted only under unusual circumstances.
(7) Withdrawal of Appeal. The parties to any case pending before the Reviewing Board shall notify the Reviewing Board in writing of any settlement, withdrawal of appeal, adjustment or other disposition.