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Home | Case-Filing | Appealing a Case in the Second Circuit | How to Appeal an Agency Case

Filing the brief and appendix




The Brief


The brief sets forth the legal argument of the case and must comply with FRAP 28, 28.1, 29, 32, and 32.1 and LRs 25.1, 31.1, and 32.1, as each rule may be applicable.


A principal brief must not exceed 30 pages or 14,000 words. If monospaced typeface, it must not exceed 1300 lines of text. Monospaced typeface, such as "Courier," must not contain more than 10 ½ characters per inch. Proportionally spaced typeface such as "Times New Roman" must be 14-point or larger. Text and footnotes in a pamphlet brief must be in 12-point or larger type with 2 points or more leading between the lines: printers should be familiar with these standards.


A reply brief must not exceed 15 pages or half the type-volume (i.e., numbered words or lines) permitted in a principal brief. Headings, footnotes, and quotations count toward word and line limitations.


The filer must certify the number of words or lines in a certificate of compliance which is included in the brief. A fillable certificate of compliance with FRAP 32(a) is available on the Court's website.


The corporate disclosure statement; table of contents; table of citations; statement with respect to oral argument; any addendum containing statutes, rules, or regulations; and any certificates of compliance do not count toward the type-volume limitation. See FRAP 32.


A brief must be legible.


A brief in pamphlet size will be accepted in this Court and must conform to FRAP 32(a).


The petitioner's brief must also contain (See FRAP 28):


  • A table of contents, with page references;
  • An alphabetically arranged table of cases, statutes, and other authorities cited with references to pages in the brief;
  • A statement of subject matter and appellate jurisdiction, the filing dates establishing timeliness of the appeal, and an assertion that the appeal is from a final order or judgment or that some other basis exists for appellate jurisdiction;
  • A statement of the issues presented;
  • A statement of the case naming the judge or agency who rendered the decision being appealed and citing the decision or supporting opinion, if reported, see LR 28.1(b), setting out the facts relevant to the issues submitted for review, describing the relevant procedural history, and identifying the rulings presented for review, with references to the record;
  • A summary of argument;
  • A statement of facts with references to the record;
  • An argument;
  • A short conclusion stating the precise relief sought;
  • Proof of service unless filed electronically in accordance with LR 25.1; and
  • A Certificate of Compliance bound at the back of the brief when a principal brief exceeds 30 pages or a reply brief exceeds 15 pages, See FRAP 32(a)(7)(C).


The following colors for brief covers must be used:


  • Petitioner - Blue
  • Respondent - Red
  • Reply - Gray
  • Intervenor or Amicus - Green
  • Supplemental - Tan


The caption on the covers of the briefs and appendices must conform to this Court's "official caption." If this Court's official caption is erroneous, counsel must alert the Court promptly in writing but in no event later than 7 days prior to the due date for the appellant's brief.


Motions for leave to file an oversized brief or postpone a brief's due date must, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, be made at least 7 days before the brief's due date.


The Appendix


The appendix must comply with FRAP 30 and LR 30.1. It should contain from the certified record all material cited in the briefs or required by the Court to be included. Such material includes the following:


  • the relevant docket entries in the agency proceedings;
  • any relevant portions of the pleadings, charge, findings, or opinion;
  • the judgment, order, or decision being appealed; and
  • any other parts of the record to which the parties wish to direct the particular attention of the Court.


Only those parts of the record necessary to illustrate the legal argument should be included in the appendix. The omission of part of the record from the appendix will not preclude the parties or the Court from relying on such parts since the record is available to the Court if needed. See FRAP 30(a)(1).


Only material that is part of the certified record may be included in the appendix.




The parties must file a Special Appendix if the appendix, exclusive of the orders, opinions and judgments being appealed, exceeds 300 pages. The Special Appendix must contain (1) the orders, opinions and judgments being appealed, and (2) the text, with appropriate citation, of any significant rule of law, including any constitution provision, treaty, statute, ordinance, regulation, rule or sentencing guideline. The Special Appendix may be an addendum at the end of a brief or a separately bound volume designated "Special Appendix." See LR 32.1.


If an attorney's failure to file a brief or appendix results in a default or dismissal of the appeal, this Court may discipline the attorney.



Last modified at 12/1/2013