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Notice Inviting Comments on Proposed Amendments to Rule 20(a) of the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure

The Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure (SAC) solicits comments on proposed amendments on or before December 3, 2020.

The Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure (SAC) solicits comments on proposed amendments to Mass. R. App. P. 20(a).

The proposed amendments to Rule 20(a) (Form and Length of Briefs, Appendices, and Applications for and Responses to Direct and Further Appellate Review), clarify that visual aids, including images, photographs, illustrations, diagrams, charts, or tables, may be included in a brief, an application for direct or further appellate review, or a response to such an application. The proposed amendments further establish certain requirements that must be satisfied when including visual aids (i.e., providing appropriate supporting citations and complying with the requirements of Rule 18(a)(1)(F) concerning quality, legibility, accuracy, and color) and prohibit the inclusion of material that is impounded, depicts a minor, violence, death, or pornography, or is otherwise gruesome or indecent in nature. Finally, the proposed amendments provide that visual aids count towards the maximum allowable length of a brief and may contain text that is single spaced.

The proposed changes are to Rules 20(a)(1), 20(a)(2)(D), 20(a)(3)(F), and 20(a)(4)(C). Rule 20 is otherwise unchanged.

The proposed amendments and Reporter's Notes appear at the links below. Comments should be directed to Timothy E. Maguire, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, One Pemberton Square, Boston, MA  02108 on or before December 3, 2020. Comments may also be emailed to timothy.maguire@jud.state.ma.us. Comments received will be made available to the public.

Proposed Amendments to Mass. R. App. P. 20(a)

Proposed Amendments to Mass. R. App. P. 20(a) - Redlined Version

Proposed Amendments to Mass. R. App. P. 20(a) - Reporter's Notes

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