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2024 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.216. Appeals in which a party is both appellant and respondent

(a) Briefing sequence and time to file briefs

In an appeal in which any party is both an appellant and a respondent:

(1)  The parties must jointly-or separately if unable to agree-submit a proposed briefing sequence to the reviewing court within 20 days after the second notice of appeal is filed.

(2)  After receiving the proposal, the reviewing court must order a briefing sequence and prescribe briefing periods consistent with rule 8.212(a).

(3)  Extensions of time are governed by rule 8.212(b).

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

(b) Contents of briefs

(1)  A party that is both an appellant and a respondent must combine its respondent's brief with its appellant's opening brief or its reply brief, if any, whichever is appropriate under the briefing sequence that the reviewing court orders.

(2)  A combined brief must address the points raised in each appeal separately but may include a single summary of the significant facts.

(3)  A party must confine a reply brief, or the reply portion of a combined brief, to points raised in its appeal.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2009; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

Advisory Committee Comment

Rule 8.216 applies, first, to all cases in which opposing parties both appeal from the judgment. In addition, it applies to all cases in which one party appeals from the judgment and another party appeals from any appealable order arising from or related to the judgment, i.e., not only orders contemplated by rule 8.108 (denying a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict) but also, for example, posttrial orders granting or denying attorney fees. The purpose of the rule is to provide, in all such appeals, a single unified procedure for resolving uncertainties as to the order in which the parties must file their briefs.

As used in this rule, "appellant" includes cross-appellant and "respondent" includes cross-respondent. (Compare rule 8.100(e).)

Subdivision (a). Subdivision (a) implements the above-stated purpose by providing a procedure for determining both the briefing sequence-i.e., the order in which the parties must file their briefs-and the briefing periods-i.e., the periods of time (e.g., 30 days or 70 days, etc.) within which the briefs must be filed. Subdivision (a)(1) places the burden on the parties in the first instance to propose a briefing sequence, jointly if possible but separately if not. The purpose of this requirement is to assist the reviewing court by giving it the benefit of the parties' views on what is the most efficient briefing sequence in the circumstances of the case. Subdivision (a)(2) then prescribes the role of the reviewing court: after considering the parties' proposal, the court will decide on the briefing sequence, prescribe the briefing periods, and notify the parties of both. The reviewing court, of course, may thereafter modify its order just as it may do in a single-appeal case. Extensions of time are governed by rule 8.212(b).

Subdivision (b). The purpose of subdivision (b)(3) is to ensure that in its reply brief a party addresses only issues germane to its own appeal. For example, a cross-appellant may not use its cross-appellant's reply brief to answer points raised in the appellant's reply brief.

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