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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.520. Briefs by parties and amici curiae; judicial notice

(a) Parties' briefs; time to file

(1)Within 30 days after the Supreme Court files the order of review, the petitioner must serve and file in that court either an opening brief on the merits or the brief it filed in the Court of Appeal.

(2)Within 30 days after the petitioner files its brief or the time to do so expires, the opposing party must serve and file either an answer brief on the merits or the brief it filed in the Court of Appeal.

(3)The petitioner may file a reply brief on the merits or the reply brief it filed in the Court of Appeal. A reply brief must be served and filed within 20 days after the opposing party files its brief.

(4)A party filing a brief it filed in the Court of Appeal must attach to the cover a notice of its intent to rely on the brief in the Supreme Court.

(5)The time to serve and file a brief may not be extended by stipulation but only by order of the Chief Justice under rule 8.60.

(6)The court may designate which party is deemed the petitioner or otherwise direct the sequence in which the parties must file their briefs.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Form and content

(1)Briefs filed under this rule must comply with the relevant provisions of rule 8.204.

(2)The body of the petitioner's brief on the merits must begin by quoting either:

(A)Any order specifying the issues to be briefed; or, if none,

(B)The statement of issues in the petition for review and, if any, in the answer.

(3)Unless the court orders otherwise, briefs on the merits must be limited to the issues stated in (2) and any issues fairly included in them.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(c) Length

(1)If produced on a computer, an opening or answering brief on the merits must not exceed 14,000 words, including footnotes, and a reply brief on the merits must not exceed 8,400 words, including footnotes. Each brief must include a certificate by appellate counsel or an unrepresented party stating the number of words in the brief. The person certifying may rely on the word count of the computer program used to prepare the brief.

(2)If typewritten, an opening or answering brief on the merits must not exceed 50 pages and a reply brief on the merits must not exceed 30 pages.

(3)The tables required under rule 8.204(a)(1), the cover information required under rule 8.204(b)(10), a certificate under (1), any signature block, any attachment under (h), and any quotation of issues required by (b)(2) are excluded from the limits stated in (1) and (2).

(4)On application and for good cause, the Chief Justice may permit a longer brief.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2011; previously amended effective January 1, 2007, and January 1, 2009.)

(d) Supplemental briefs

(1)A party may file a supplemental brief limited to new authorities, new legislation, or other matters that were not available in time to be included in the party's brief on the merits.

(2)A supplemental brief must not exceed 2,800 words, including footnotes, if produced on a computer or 10 pages if typewritten, and must be served and filed no later than 10 days before oral argument.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(e) Briefs on the court's request

The court may request additional briefs on any or all issues, whether or not the parties have filed briefs on the merits.

(f) Amicus curiae briefs

(1)After the court orders review, any person or entity may serve and file an application for permission of the Chief Justice to file an amicus curiae brief.

(2)The application must be filed no later than 30 days after all briefs that the parties may file under this rule-other than supplemental briefs-have been filed or were required to be filed. For good cause, the Chief Justice may allow later filing.

(3)The application must state the applicant's interest and explain how the proposed amicus curiae brief will assist the court in deciding the matter.

(4)The application must also identify:

(A)Any party or any counsel for a party in the pending appeal who:

(i)Authored the proposed amicus brief in whole or in part; or

(ii)Made a monetary contribution intended to fund the preparation or submission of the brief; and

(B)Every person or entity who made a monetary contribution intended to fund the preparation or submission of the brief, other than the amicus curiae, its members, or its counsel in the pending appeal.

(5)The proposed brief must be served. It must accompany the application and may be combined with it.

(6)The covers of the application and proposed brief must identify the party the applicant supports, if any.

(7)If the court grants the application, any party may file either an answer to the individual amicus curiae brief or a consolidated answer to multiple amicus curiae briefs filed in the case. The answer must be filed within 30 days after either the court rules on the last timely filed application to file an amicus curiae brief or the time for filing applications to file an amicus curiae brief expires, whichever is later. The answer must be served on all parties and the amicus curiae.

(8)The Attorney General may file an amicus curiae brief without the Chief Justice's permission unless the brief is submitted on behalf of another state officer or agency. The Attorney General must serve and file the brief within the time specified in (2) and must provide the information required by (3) and comply with (6). Any answer must comply with (7).

(Subd (f) amended effective January 1, 2011; previously amended effective January 1, 2008, and January 1, 2009.)

(g) Judicial notice

To obtain judicial notice by the Supreme Court under Evidence Code section 459, a party must comply with rule 8.252(a).

(Subd (g) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(h) Attachments

A party filing a brief may attach copies of relevant local, state, or federal regulations or rules, out-of-state statutes, or other similar citable materials that are not readily accessible. These attachments must not exceed a combined total of 10 pages. A copy of an opinion required to be attached to the brief under rule 8.1115(c) does not count toward this 10-page limit.

(Subd (h) adopted effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 8.520 amended effective January 1, 2011; adopted as rule 29.1 effective January 1, 2003; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2008, and January 1, 2009.

Advisory Committee Comment

Subdivision (a). A party other than the petitioner who files a brief may be required to pay a filing fee under Government Code section 68927 if the brief is the first document filed in the proceeding in the Supreme Court by that party. See rule 8.25(c).

Subdivisions (c) and (d). Subdivisions (c) and (d) state in terms of word count rather than page count the maximum permissible lengths of Supreme Court briefs produced on a computer. This provision tracks an identical provision in rule 8.204(c) governing Court of Appeal briefs and is explained in the advisory committee comment to that provision. Subdivision (c)(3) specifies certain items that are not counted toward the maximum brief length. The signature block referenced in this provision includes not only the signatures, but also the printed names, titles, and affiliations of any attorneys filing or joining in the brief, which may accompany the signature.

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