Florida Supreme Court Amends Rules of Appellate Procedure to Change Briefing Deadlines

Florida Supreme Court Amends Rules of Appellate Procedure to Change Briefing Deadlines

January 7th, 2019 by

Effective January 1, 2019!

Florida Appellate Briefing DeadlinesOn October 25, 2018, the Florida Supreme Court issued an order adopting proposed amendments to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. The aspect of the order that will have the biggest impact on the appellate process in Florida is the change to the briefing deadlines for many Florida appeals and original proceedings.

The general theme of the amendments is that most deadlines triggered by service of an order or document have been extended.

Deadlines triggered by the filing of a document, on the other hand, have not been changed by the amendments.

Here are some highlights of the new changes:

  • The order amends subsection (k) of Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.100 (governs original proceedings such as certiorari proceedings and other writ proceedings) to provide that instead of 20 days for a petitioner to reply to a respondent’s answer, the reply is due within 30 days.
  • Rule 9.110(g) used to provide that a notice of cross appeal must be served within 10 days of the filing date of the notice of appeal. Now the notice of cross appeal must be served within 15 days of the notice of appeal filing date.
  • Rule 9.120(d) used to provide that a respondent’s brief on jurisdiction in the Florida Supreme Court must be served within 20 days of service of the petitioner’s brief on jurisdiction. Now respondents have 30 days to serve their jurisdictional responses in the Florida Supreme Court.
  • Here is the biggy: For many moons, appellees in Florida have had 20 days from the service date of the initial brief to serve an answer brief.  No longer. The order amended Rule 9.210(f) to provide that appellees now have 30 days to serve an answer brief. Likewise, appellants now have 30 days to serve a reply brief (rather than the 20 days provided by the old rule).

These are just a few of the changes.

Anyone who has an appellate matter in Florida should review the order in detail.

The good news is that the deadlines were extended, rather than restricted.  That means if you don’t get this memo, you’ll just be serving your appellate documents early.

Better than the alternative!

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About the Author:

Michael Brownlee

Mr. Brownlee is a board-certified appellate attorney that handles both civil and criminal appeals in Florida and in federal courts of appeal across the country. He is licensed to practice in each of Florida's appellate courts and most of the federal circuit courts of appeal. In addition to Florida's district courts of appeal, Mr. Brownlee has performed oral argument at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta. He has also been lead appellate counsel in two appeals before the Florida Supreme Court. Mr. Brownlee is a member of the Appellate Practice section of the Florida Bar and the Orange County Bar Association's Appellate Practice Committee. In addition to his appellate practice, Mr. Brownlee handles various civil litigation matters at the trial level. Mr. Brownlee holds an "AV Preeminent" peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell and obtained his board certification from the Florida Bar in appellate practice in 2016.

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