Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Word limits in the U.S. Supreme Court

John Mollenkamp points out that the United States Supreme Court has switched to word limits as of October 1, 2007. See the new rule 33.1 here. Merits briefs are limited to 15,000 words, which is probably about 50 or 60 double-spaced pages.

A memo from the court clerk explains:
Revised Rule 33.1 requires word, rather than page, limits. . . . Rule 33.1(h) provides that documents prepared under Rule 33.1 must be accompanied by a certificate signed by the attorney or preparer of the document stating that the brief complies with the word limitations. . . . Preparers may rely on the word count of the word-processing system used to prepare the document. Footnotes must be included in the word count. The certificate must state the number of words in a document.

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