Eleventh Circuit Amends Rules on Extensions, Disclosures, and Admissions

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Atlanta

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Atlanta

The 11th Circuit will now allow a first request for extension of time of up to 14 days (instead of 7) – without having to certify pursuant to 11th Circuit Rule 26-1 that the requestor conferred with opposing counsel about the extension – which can be granted by the Clerk on a telephonic request, so long as the Court hasn’t established a written briefing schedule. 11th Cir. R. 31.2. Any request for an extension greater than 14 days still requires consultation with opposing counsel and a written motion, and the first request must still be made at least 7 days in advance.

The Court also amended the rules for filing a Certificate of Interested Persons and Corporate Disclosure Statement (CIP) to not only require the appellant or petitioner to file a CIP within 14 days of docketing of the appeal and to complete the web-based CIP form the same day, but to require all other parties to file a response to the CIP within 14 days either indicating the CIP is correct or adding additional interested persons or entities. 11th Cir. R. 26-1(a). The rule now clearly states that failure to complete the separate web form will subject a party to delay of the case and possible sanctions. 11th Cir. R. 26-1(b); 26.1-5. The rule change also clarifies the parties that need to be identified in various kinds of cases, speaking specifically to including the identity of the victims in criminal appeals, and the debtor, creditor’s committee members, and any entity which may be affected by the decision in bankruptcy appeals. 11th Cir. R. 26.1-2. Any amendments to the CIP must be brought to the Court’s attention, both in briefs and through the web-based CIP. 11th Cir. R. 26.1-4.

Finally, the attorney admission rules now impose a continuing obligation to notify the Court if an attorney’s status with any other bar lapses, and makes clear that attorneys applying for admission to the bar or to appear pro hac vice must be in good standing elsewhere. 11th Cir. R. 46-1, 46-4; 46-7. Renewal fees may now be paid online.

Download a copy of the new rules here. The Court’s summary table of the rule changes is available here.

Oral Argument: Peterson v Flare Fittings

I’ve talked about how to prepare for oral argument before, but I’ve never shared an actual oral argument video on this site. DPW Legal now has a YouTube Channel — please subscribe! — and I am pleased to present as our first video the oral argument in Peterson v. Flare Fittings, a case which I won before the Fifth District Court of Appeal back in October. As with all oral arguments, it’s a long video, so get your popcorn ready, or have about 40 minutes to spare. There are notes in the video on how to skip to my argument, if you are so inclined, though it’s helpful to see both sides.

A few thoughts on argument:

  • You’ll notice a lot of discussion about an issue that never even got mentioned in the opinion — the due process issues surrounding the timing of the summary judgment hearings. The Court didn’t need to talk about that issue to rule in my client’s favor — and probably would have ruled against him on that issue, since it was an abuse of discretion standard — so just didn’t mention it at all.
  • There were three Appellees, and they did not do a good job of watching their time. One Appellee did not get to argue at all.
  • At least twice I made sure to ask the Court if they had specific questions they wanted addressed, and when I had made my point, I relied on my written materials and sat down. Never feel the need to talk just to fill space during Oral Argument. Get your points in, answer the judges’ questions, and sit down.

The case again is Peterson v. Flare Fittings, No. 5D13-2235 (Oct. 9. 2015) [.pdf]. For my analysis of the decision, see the original blog post. And you may link to the argument at https://youtu.be/sIME2a5NUv4.

Second District Publishes Practice Preferences

The Second District Court of Appeals in October published on its website a brief but mighty Practice Preferences guide [.pdf] to assist parties in guiding their practice before that Court. The document includes three main sections: (1) Notices, Motions, and Records, (2) Briefs and Brief Writing, and (3) Oral Argument. The document is a mix of general appellate advocacy best practices and the specific preferences of this Court and its judges. Some of the most important practice tips:

Make jurisdiction easy to discern (See page 1, #1).

When filing a notice of appeal, include a copy of any tolling motion and the order granting or denying that motion, so the date of rendition is clear without having to look outside of the filing to determine jurisdiction.

No footnotes! (See page 4, #8).

The Second District will just take your footnotes out of the margin and pull it into the body of the brief to make it more readable for the judges. And whatever you do, don’t cite Bryan Garner style (sorry, Bryan). This Court hates that, and I have personally witnessed a Court sending a so-cited brief back to the party to re-file with inline citation.

Maximize Oral Argument (See pages 5-6).

Probably the most useful section of the Practice Preferences goes into detail about Oral Argument best practices: how to introduce yourself, answer the Court’s questions, don’t interrupt the judge, be conscious of your remaining time, know your record and briefs and law, and practice!

Whether you are in the Second District or any other Florida intermediate appellate court, the guide is a concise and helpful summary of some of the most common questions of appellate procedure and practice.