US Supreme Court Rules: Revisions to Take Effect July 1, 2013

The Court has adopted a revised version of the Rules of the Court to take effect on July 1, 2013. Normally, the Court makes any proposed revisions available for public comment before making them effective. This time, however, the Court was of the opinion that the latest changes were of minor importance and of a housekeeping nature, and thus it did not seek public comment.

However, there are certain revisions that the Bar should be aware of, and I have highlighted the most important of those below. (All revisions may be reviewed here.)

Rules 15 and 18 have an increase in the amount of days that the Clerk must wait before distribution to the Justices of a petition and brief in opposition. That period has been increased from 10 to 14 days so that distribution will now take place sometime between 14-21 days instead of 10-17 days. The exact timing of distribution depends upon various factors which change throughout the course of the year. In any event, this will give the petitioner more time to reply and have the reply brief included in the distribution package. As always, the petitioner can waive the distribution period.

Electronic transmission of all documents to all parties at the petition stage is now required under Rule 29.3 (with some exceptions). "All parties" obviously does not include the Court. Electronic transmission has been required at the merits stage for several years now for all parties and the Court, as well.

Rule 12.6 now provides that a party aligned with a petitioner(s), who supports the granting of the petition, has 30 (not 20) days to file a brief in support, and this time will not be extended. However, such respondent must notify all parties of its intention to file a brief in support within 20 days after the petition has been placed on the docket.

A new Rule 28.8 has been added. The rule sets forth the Court’s current practice of only allowing members of the Supreme Court Bar to argue unless a motion to argue pro hac vice is made under Rule 6.

As to amicus briefs, Rules 37.2(a) and 3(a) have also been revised. 37.2(a) emphasizes that the 10-day notice provision pertains only to amicus briefs at the petition stage and 37.2(a) and 3(a) now require only one signatory to an amicus brief being filed jointly to obtain consent. This eliminates the need for additional consents when other amici join a brief.

Rule 39 has also been revised so that attorneys, who are appointed by a state court, need not file an affidavit of indigency.

Should you have any questions regarding the US Supreme Court rules, please do not hesitate to contact Roy Liebman directly. Mr. Liebman specializes exclusively in US Supreme Court practice and has an in-depth knowledge of what is happening at the Court, at all times.

For a related article about US Supreme Court procedures, please use the following link: Distributed for Conference at the Supreme Court of the United States.

Tagged: Appellate Practice, Supreme Court of the United States, Appellate Procedure