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Supreme Court Rules Table of Contents

RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

PROCEDURAL RULES 1 TO 34

Rule 16. Briefs.

 
       (1) Briefs may be prepared using a printing, duplicating or copying process capable of producing a clear letter quality black image on white paper, but shall not include ordinary carbon copies. If briefs timely filed do not conform to this rule or are not clearly legible, the clerk of the supreme court may require that new copies be substituted, but the filing shall not thereby be deemed untimely.

Each brief shall be in pamphlet form upon good quality, nonclinging paper 8 ˝ by 11 inches in size, with front and back covers of durable quality. Each brief shall have a minimum margin of one inch on the binding side and shall be firmly bound at the left margin. Any metal or plastic spines, fasteners or staples shall be flush with the covers and shall be covered by tape. The covers shall be flush with the pages of the case. See also Rule 26(5).

If briefs are produced by commercial printing or duplicating firms, or, if produced otherwise and the covers to be described are available, the cover of the brief of the appealing party should be blue; that of the opposing party, red; that of an intervenor or amicus curiae, green; and that of any reply brief, including the answering brief in accordance with Rule 16(8), gray. The cover of the appendix, if separately printed, should be white.

The court will not accept any other method of binding unless prior approval has been obtained from the clerk of the supreme court.

(2) The front covers of the briefs and of appendices, if the appendices are separately produced, shall contain: (a) the name of this court and the docket number of the case; (b) the title of the case; (c) the nature of the proceeding in this court, e.g., appeal by petition pursuant to RSA 541: 6, and the name of the court or agency below; (d) the title of the document, e.g., brief for plaintiff; (e) the names, addresses and New Hampshire Bar identification numbers of counsel representing the party on whose behalf the document is filed; and (f) the name of counsel who is to argue the case. See form in appendix.

(3) So far as possible, the brief of the moving party on the merits shall contain in the order here indicated:

    (a) A table of contents, with page references, and a table of cases listed alphabetically, a table of statutes and other authorities, with references to the pages of the briefs where they are cited.

    (b) The questions presented for review, expressed in terms and circumstances of the case but without unnecessary detail. While the statement of a question need not be worded exactly as it was in the appeal document, the question presented shall be the same as the question previously set forth in the appeal document. The statement of a question presented will be deemed to include every subsidiary question fairly comprised therein. The moving party may argue in his brief any question of law not listed in his appeal document, but only if the supreme court has granted a motion to add such question, and he has presented a record that is sufficient for the supreme court to decide the questions presented. Motions to add a question may be filed only by a party who filed an appeal document (including a party who filed a cross-appeal), and shall be filed at least 20 days prior to the due date of the moving party's brief.

    After each statement of a question presented, counsel shall make specific reference to the volume and page of the transcript where the issue was raised and where an objection was made, or to the pleading which raised the issue. Failure to comply with this requirement shall be cause for the court to disregard or strike the brief in whole or in part, and opposing counsel may so move within ten days of the filing of a brief not in compliance with this rule.

    (c) The constitutional provisions, statutes, ordinances, rules, or regulations involved in the case, setting them out verbatim, and giving their citation. If the provisions involved are lengthy, their citation alone will suffice at that point, and their pertinent text shall be set forth in an appendix.

    (d) A concise statement of the case and a statement of facts material to the consideration of the questions presented, with appropriate references to the appendix or to the record.

    (e) A summary of argument, suitably paragraphed, which should be a succinct, but accurate and clear, condensation of the argument made in the body of the brief. It should not be a mere repetition of the headings under which the argument is arranged.

    (f) The argument, exhibiting clearly the points of fact and of law being presented, citing the authorities relied upon.

    (g) A conclusion, specifying the relief to which the party believes himself entitled.

    (h) A statement that the party waives oral argument or that the party requests oral argument.  A party requesting oral argument may designate whether the party requests oral argument before a 3JX panel or the full court, and may set forth reasons why the party believes oral argument is necessary or will be helpful to the court in deciding the case.  If a party requests oral argument before the full court, and if the party believes that more than 15 minutes to a side will be necessary for oral argument, the party may set forth why the party believes that good cause exists for granting additional time.  The party shall designate the lawyer to be heard if there are two or more lawyers on the party's side.

    (i) A copy of the decision(s) below that are being appealed or reviewed.  If the appealed decision is in writing, a copy of that decision shall be included with the brief, and shall not be included in a separate appendix.  The appealing party shall, immediately before the signature line on the brief, certify either that the appealed decision is in writing and is appended to the brief, or that the appealed decision was not in writing and therefore is not appended to the brief.  Any brief not conforming with this rule may be rejected.

(4)(a) The brief of the opposing party shall conform to the foregoing requirements, except that no statement of the case need be made beyond what may be deemed necessary in correcting any inaccuracy or omission in the statement of the other side, and except that subsections (b), (c), and (h) of subsection (3) need not be included unless the opposing party is dissatisfied with their presentation by the other side.

    (b) Instead of a brief, the opposing party in a mandatory appeal may file a memorandum of law not to exceed 15 pages in length. A memorandum of law need not comply with the requirements for a brief set forth in this rule, including the requirements that briefs be bound in pamphlet form and have covers. A memorandum of law, however, shall contain: (i) the argument, exhibiting clearly the points of fact and of law being presented, citing the authorities relied upon; and (ii) a conclusion, specifying the relief to which the party believes himself entitled. A party who files a memorandum of law shall be deemed to have consented to the waiver of oral argument.

(5) Reply briefs shall conform to such parts of this rule as are applicable to the briefs of an opposing party, but need not contain a summary of argument, regardless of their length, if appropriately divided by topical headings.

(6) Briefs and memoranda of law must be compact, logically arranged with proper headings, concise and free from burdensome, irrelevant, and immaterial matter. Briefs and memoranda of law not complying with this section may be disregarded and stricken by the supreme court.

(7) Unless specially ordered otherwise, the original and 8 copies of the opening brief shall be filed with the clerk of the supreme court, in addition, 2 copies with counsel for each party separately represented, 2 copies with each pro se party, and like distribution shall be made of the opposing brief, opposing memorandum of law, or any other brief, all within the times specified in the applicable scheduling order.

The party filing the opening brief may similarly file, and make like distribution of, a reply brief, which shall be filed by the earlier of 20 days following the submission of the opposing brief or opposing memorandum of law, or 10 days before the date of oral argument. A reply brief may be filed after the expiration of the applicable time period only by leave of court. Responses to a reply brief shall not ordinarily be allowed. No response to a reply brief may be filed except by permission of the court received in advance.

Whenever a party desires to present late authorities, newly enacted legislation, or other intervening matters that were not available in time to have been included in his brief, he may similarly file, and make like distribution of, such new matters up to and including the day of oral argument, or by leave of the supreme court thereafter.

The court shall not consider any brief or memorandum of law after a case has been argued or submitted, unless the court has granted to the party offering to file the brief or memorandum of law special leave to do so in advance.

(8) If a cross-appeal is filed, the clerk shall determine which party shall be deemed the moving party for the purposes of this rule, unless the parties agree and so notify the court. The brief of the opposing party shall contain the issues and argument involved in his appeal as well as the answer to the brief of the moving party. The moving party may file an answering brief within the time specified in the scheduling order.

(9) All references in a brief or memorandum of law to the appendix or to the record must be accompanied by the appropriate page number.

Citations to Supreme Court of the United States cases that cannot be made to the official United States Reports or to the Supreme Court Reporter shall include the month, day, and year of decision or a reference to United States Law Week. Citations to other federal decisions not presently reported shall identify the court, docket number, and date.

Citations to the decisions of this court may be to the New Hampshire Reports only. Citations to other State court decisions may either be: (a) to the official report and to the West Reporter system, with the year of decision; or (b) to the West Reporter only, in which case the citation should identify the State court by name or level, and should mention the year of decision. 

(10) The party filing a brief or memorandum of law shall conclude the pleading with a certification that the party has hand-delivered or has sent by first class mail two copies of the pleading to the other counsel in the case.

The name of the party filing the brief or memorandum of law and the name of the lawyer representing the party shall appear in type at the conclusion of the pleading, and the lawyer shall sign the pleading. Names of persons not members of the bar or not parties shall not appear on the notice of appeal, the brief, the memorandum of law, or in the appendix unless they have complied with Rule 33 and received prior written approval of the court. See Rule 33(2).

If an attorney provided limited representation to an otherwise unrepresented party by drafting a brief or memorandum of law to be filed by such party in a proceeding in which the attorney is not entering any appearance or otherwise appearing in the case in the supreme court, the attorney is not required to disclose the attorney’s name on such pleading to be used by that party; any pleading drafted by such limited representation attorney, however, must conspicuously contain the statement “This pleading was prepared with the assistance of a New Hampshire attorney.  The unrepresented party must comply with this required disclosure.

(11) Each brief and memorandum of law shall consist of standard sized typewriter characters or size 12 font produced on one side of each leaf only. The text shall be double spaced.

Except by permission of the court received in advance, no reply brief (or response thereto) shall exceed 10 pages, and, except in a case with a cross-appeal, no other brief shall exceed 35 pages, exclusive of pages containing the table of contents, tables of citations, and any addendum containing pertinent texts of constitutions, statutes, rules, regulations, and other such matters.  If a cross-appeal is filed, the opening brief and answering brief of the moving party shall not exceed 35 pages, and the opposing brief of the cross-appellant shall not exceed 50 pages, exclusive of pages containing the table of contents, tables of citations, and any addendum containing pertinent texts of constitutions, statutes, rules, regulations, and other such matters.  The cross-appellant may file a reply brief, which shall not exceed 10 pages.

(12)  Failure of the appealing party to file a brief shall constitute a waiver of the appeal and the case shall be dismissed.


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