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The Federal Circuit has revised its local rules and hereby provides those revisions along with amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (FRAP). Those rules, which are applicable to cases docketed on or after December 1, 2016, are available here.

The principal local rule revisions are in response to FRAP amendments that now measure most document lengths in terms of word counts instead of page counts and which revise some maximum permissible word counts. The court has revised its rules to indicate maximum permissible word counts for documents such as motions, petitions, and briefs, Leaving unchanged, however, those provisions permitting pro se petitioners to continue to adhere to page count limits.

The Federal Circuit has adopted the FRAP amendments in large part, except that the court retained the previous larger 14,000-14,000-7,000 word lengths for merits briefing. When filing a particular document, please refer to the pertinent FRAP provision and the local rule to determine the maximum permissible document length. When a local rule differs from the FRAP provision, the inapplicable language in the FRAP provision will be indicated in strikethrough text. When a rule requires that a document not exceed a certain word count length, counsel should indicate by certification at the end of the document that the document complies with the word limit (similar to the certification required for briefs).

For cases docketed between April 1, 2016 and November 30, 2016, the applicable rules are available here.

For cases docketed before April 1, 2016, the applicable rules are available here.


The notice version of the 2016 Federal Circuit Rules contained a format numbering error in Rule 30(h) and Rule 54.  Both are reposted here with correct section numbering added in red font with errors in strikethrough text.  The errors appeared only in the original notice version.  The Rules posted on the website have been updated to reflect the corrections.  Additionally, the new 2016 Rules have been enhanced for additional functionality at the link below.  

As previously noted, the 2016 Rules are effective and apply to all appeals docketed on or after Friday, April 1, 2016.  Appeals docketed prior to the effective date will continue to be processed under the 2011 Rules available on the Rules Archive tab or at this link

Please click here to see the Rules of Practice

Rule Amendments Summary


The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has amended the Federal Circuit Rules of Practice. The new rules are available on this page including a summary of changes. The amendments are extensive and include incorporating the terms of the Administrative Order Regarding Electronic Case Filing dated May 17, 2012; revising the requirements for confidential markings; as well as other updates, conforming changes and editorial corrections throughout. The revised rules are effective and shall apply to all appeals docketed on or after Friday, April 1, 2016. The notice version of the Rules of Practice 2016 will soon be replaced by a new web-structure version with enhanced electronic functionality. In addition, the Guide for Pro Se Litigantsforms and the fee schedule have also been updated. Please see the CM/ECF link to access the top ten reasons why Motions and Briefs are rejected. To access the Clerk’s office Contact Us reference sheet, select the Clerk’s Office tab.