As a friendly reminder, the new amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure will go into effect on December 1, 2016. The most important changes are that principle briefs are limited to 13,000 words and the three-day service period for electronic filing has been eliminated. There are also new word limits for motions and petitions for extraordinary writs, and other assorted changes. The Fourth Circuit has posted a nice summary of these amendments, including a useful blackline showing the changes to the rules. Many circuits, including the Second, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Federal Circuits, have decided that they will not be following all of the new rule changes. Other circuits have announced they will be following the new rules. These differences reflect the well-known disagreements about these changes—which were resolved by explicitly allowing each circuit to decide what to do about word limits.
The Sixth Circuit has not yet posted anything regarding the new rules, and we fully expect that the court will not opt out of the rules. Therefore, sharpen your pencils and get ready for 13,000 word briefs!