(a) Form of a Brief.
(A) A brief may be reproduced by any process that yields a
clear black image on light paper. The paper must be opaque
and unglazed. Only one side of the paper may be used.
(B) Text must be reproduced with a clarity that equals or
exceeds the output of a laser printer.
(C) Photographs, illustrations, and tables may be
reproduced by any method that results in a good copy of
the original; a glossy finish is acceptable if the
original is glossy.
Except for filings by unrepresented parties, the cover of
the appellant’s brief must be blue; the appellee’s, red; an
intervenor’s or amicus curiae’s, green; any reply brief,
gray and any supplemental brief, tan. The front cover of a
brief must contain:
(A) the number of the case centered at the top;
(B) the name of the court;
(C) the title of the case (see Rule 12(a));
(D) the nature of the proceeding (e.g., Appeal, Petition
for Review) and the name of the court, agency, or board
(E) the title of the brief, identifying the party or
parties for whom the brief is filed; and
(F) the name, office address, and telephone number of
counsel representing the party for whom the brief is
The brief must be bound in any manner that is secure, does
not obscure the text, and permits the brief to lie
reasonably flat when open.
(4) Paper Size, Line Spacing, and Margins.
The brief must be on 81⁄2 by 11 inch paper. The text must be
double-spaced, but quotations more than two lines long may
be indented and single- spaced. Headings and footnotes may
be single-spaced. Margins must be at least one inch on all
four sides. Page numbers may be placed in the margins, but
no text may appear there.
Either a proportionally spaced or a monospaced face may be
(A) A proportionally spaced face must include serifs, but
sans-serif type may be used in headings and captions. A
proportionally spaced face must be 14-point or larger.
(B) A monospaced face may not contain more than 101⁄2
characters per inch.
(6) Type Styles.
A brief must be set in a plain, roman style, although
italics or boldface may be used for emphasis. Case names
must be italicized or underlined.
(A) Page limitation.
A principal brief may not exceed 30 pages, or a reply
brief 15 pages, unless it complies with Rule 32(a)(7)(B)
(B) Type-volume limitation.
(i) A principal brief is acceptable if:
- it contains no more than 14,000 words; or
- it uses a monospaced face and contains no more than
1,300 lines of text
(ii) A reply brief is acceptable if it contains no more
than half of the type volume specified in Rule
(iii) Headings, footnotes, and quotations count toward
the word and line limitations. 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 counsel do not count toward the
(C) Certificate of compliance.
(i) A brief submitted under Rules 28.1(e)(2) or
32(a)(7)(B) must include a certificate by the attorney,
or an unrepresented party, that the brief complies with
the type-volume limitation. The person preparing the
certificate may rely on the word or line count of the
word-processing system used to prepare the brief. The
certificate must state either:
- the number of words in the brief; or
- the number of lines of monospaced type in the brief.
(ii) Form 6 in the Appendix of Forms is a suggested form
of a certificate of compliance. Use of Form 6 must be
regarded as sufficient to meet the requirements of Rules
28.1(e)(3) and 32(a)(7)(C)(i).
(b) Form of an Appendix.
An appendix must comply with Rule 32(a)(1), (2), (3), and (4),
with the following exceptions:
(1) The cover of a separately bound appendix must be white.
(2) An appendix may include a legible photocopy of any
document found in the record or of a printed judicial or
(3) When necessary to facilitate inclusion of odd-sized
documents such as technical drawings, an appendix may be a
size other than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, and need not lie
reasonably flat when opened.
(c) Form of Other Papers.
The form of a motion is governed by Rule 27(d).
(2) Other Papers.
Any other paper, including a petition for panel rehearing
and a petition for hearing or rehearing en banc, and any
response to such a petition, must be reproduced in the
manner prescribed by Rule 32(a), with the following
(A) A cover is not necessary if the caption and signature
page of the paper together contain the information
required by Rule 32(a)(2). If a cover is used, it must be
(B) Rule 32(a)(7) does not apply.
Every brief, motion, or other paper filed with the court must
be signed by the party filing the paper or, if the party is
represented, by one of the party’s attorneys.
(e) Local Variation.
Every court of appeals must accept documents that comply with
the form requirements of this rule. By local rule or order in
a particular case a court of appeals may accept documents that
do not meet all of the form requirements of this rule.
<< Return to Rules | Title VI. General Provisions | Rule 32
Last modified at 1/5/2010