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 on the court’s website.
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). [December 1, 2016]