Thursday, October 15, 2015

No more squinting

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces is considering a rule change that would require the use of 14-point proportional type (such as Times New Roman) in all pleadings other than records of trial. This follows the practice in the Article III court of Appeals. See Fed. R. App. P.  32(a)(5). Comments are due by Nov. 13, 2015.

1 comment:

  1. Military justice maven Don Rehkopf has submitted the following comment to the Court:

    This proposed Rule change is both welcome and overdue. Use of "proportional type," e.g., Times New Roman is fairly standard amongst appellate practitioners.

    However, I would also propose a "friendly amendment" to address the font size of footnotes. I don't have any issue with the main text being in 14 point font, but the proposed rule should at least address what font is appropriate for footnotes. I just went through this issue in the Second Circuit which - like many other Circuits - does not address the font-size for footnotes, leaving one wondering. I respectfully suggest that the Final Rule be amended to specifically address the font size for footnotes in the Briefs and other pleadings filed.

    For example, consider the following approaches (as opposed to silence):

    3rd Cir. Rule 32.2(a): Footnotes must be printed in the same size type utilized in the text.

    5th Cir. Rule 32.1: . . . footnotes may be 12 point or larger in proportionally spaced typeface. . .

    7th Cir. Rule 32(b): A brief need not comply with the 14-point-type requirement in Fed. R. App. P. 32(a)(5)(A). A brief is acceptable if proportionally spaced type is 12 points or larger in the body of the brief, and 11 points or larger in footnotes.

    That eliminates both guess-work and unnecessary communications with the Court Clerk's Office.


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