THe new Year usHers in signiFiCanT appellaTe rule aMendMenTs
appellate practice Section
Chairs: Tom Seider – Brannock & Humphries and Joe Eagleton – Brannock & Humphries
it is always important,
even for long-time
practitioners, to consult
the rules, but now you
he new year brought
significant changes to
the Florida Rules of
Effective January 1, at 12:02 am,
the Florida Supreme Court
approved changes to long-standing
deadlines, approved new
interlocutory appeals, clarified
briefing practices, liberalized
motions for a written opinion, and
updated Florida’s “Bluebook.”
Deadlines. The biggest
practical impact will be the way
deadlines are calculated. For
starters, gone forever are the
extra five days for service by mail.
Fortunately, most deadlines have
been extended so that you will get
more time, not less, to respond.
What’s more, under the new
amendments, instead of counting
from the next day after service,
the counting begins on the next
day that is not a Saturday, Sunday,
or legal holiday. Thus, if you are
served with a brief on a Friday,
the deadline for your response
starts counting from the following
Monday. Fla. R. Jud. Admin.
2.514(1)(1)(A). In cases where
multiple briefs are filed, the
deadline for responding to any
brief runs from the service of the
last such brief or, if the last brief
due is ultimately not filed, from
the deadline for service of that
brief. Fla. R. App. P. 9.210(f).
Finally, in most cases, the period for
have an excellent excuse
to spend a little extra
time with your rulebook.
responding has been lengthened.
For example, answer and reply
briefs are now due in 30 days
(instead of 20 days plus mail time)
from service. Id. Virtually every
relevant deadline has changed, so
consult your updated rules before
marking your calendar.
There are two new categories of
interlocutory appeals as a matter
of right in Rule 9.130. You may
now appeal orders that determine,
as a matter of law, that a settlement
agreement is unenforceable, should
be set aside, or never existed, as
well as orders that grant or deny
a motion to disqualify counsel.
Briefing. The appellate rules
now follow the Eleventh Circuit
Court of Appeals’ practice of
“one lawyer, one brief.” Thus, a
lawyer representing more than
one party in a case may file only
one combined brief. Fla. R. App.
P. 9.416 and 9.410.
Rehearing Practice. The
Court reorganized and simplified
the rule on rehearing, making
clear that all forms of post-opinion
relief (rehearing, rehearing en
banc, clarification, certification,
motion for written opinion) must
be combined in a single motion.
Fla. R. App. P. 9.330. The
amendment also liberalized the
motion by expanding the reasons a
litigant may seek a written opinion.
Previously, the rule limited you to
arguing that an opinion would
necessarily reveal a ground for
Florida Supreme Court review.
Now you can argue that a written
opinion would provide an
explanation for an apparent
deviation from past precedent or
that a written opinion would
provide guidance to the parties or
the lower court in certain cases.
Citations. Rule 9.800, Florida
Rules of Appellate Procedure, has
been amended to update Florida
standard citation formatting. In
particular, the amendment clarifies
the preferred method for citing
These are just the highlights.
There are many more changes
affecting many aspects of appellate
practice. Of course, it is always
important, even for long-time
practitioners, to consult the rules, but
now you have an
to spend a little
extra time with
Author: Steven L.
MAR - APR 2019