Pennsylvania Appellate Rule Amendments, Adopted March 27, 2013

SCOPA adopted changes to the Pennsylvania Appellate Rules of Procedure on March 27, 2013. PAJ Member Barbara Axelrod of The Beasley Firm, LLC, Philadelphia, has provided the following synopsis of the changes. Axelrod is also a member of PAJ’s Amicus Curiae Committee:

• There are now word limits, rather than page limits; e.g., the jurisdictional statement shall not exceed 1,000 words (rather than 5 pages); the principal brief shall not exceed 14,000 words (rather than 70 pages); Important Note! If you don’t do a lot of federal work, the change to word limits may surprise you. A colleague who checked a 70-page brief he had filed discovered it contained 21,000 words! So you really need to regularly check your word count as you go along and/or allow time to edit it down. 

• All papers filed in a Pennsylvania appellate court now need to be in 14 point print (rather than 12), and “Arial, Verdana and Times New Roman” fonts “will be satisfactory”;

• Except for an application for continuance or advancement of a matter, 1 original and 8 copies of any other application must be filed in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court; 3 are still the rule in the Superior and Commonwealth Court;

• The page-limit on the Statement of Questions Involved and the Summary of Argument has been eliminated, but they are included in the word count and the Court still expects both to be concise;

• A Certificate of Compliance must be included except when a principal brief does not exceed 30 pages, a reply brief does not exceed 15 pages or an application for reargument does not exceed 8 pages; 

• The Certificate may be based on the word count system of the word processing system used to prepare the brief.

View the amended rules with markup.
View the Order adopting the amendments.