WSR 04-15-031

RULES OF COURT

STATE SUPREME COURT


[ July 8, 2004 ]

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF NEW RALJ 7.3 AND NEW RALJ 8.4 )

)

ORDER

NO. 25700-A-795


The Superior Court Judges' Association having recommended the adoption of proposed new rules RALJ 7.3 and 8.4, and the Court having approved the proposed new rules for publication;

Now, therefore, it is hereby

ORDERED:

(a) That pursuant to the provisions of GR 9(g), the proposed new rules as attached hereto are to be published for comment in the Washington reports, Washington Register, Washington State Bar Association and Office of the Administrator for the Court's websites in January 2005.

(b) The purpose statement as required by GR 9(e), is published solely for the information of the Bench, Bar and other interested parties.

(c) Comments are to be submitted to the Clerk of the Supreme Court by either U.S. Mail or Internet E-Mail by no later than April 30, 2005. Comments may be sent to the following addresses: P.O. Box 40929, Olympia, Washington 98504-0929, or Lisa.Bausch@courts.wa.gov. Comments submitted by e-mail message must be limited to 1500 words.

DATED at Olympia, Washington this 8th day of July 2004.
For the Court
Gerry L. Alexander


CHIEF JUSTICE


GR 9 COVER SHEET


Suggested New Change


[NEW] RULE 7.3 FORMAT OF BRIEFS



Name of Proponent: Superior Court Judges' Association (SCJA)


Spokesperson: Judge Catherine Shaffer, Chair
SCJA Legislative Committee

Purpose: Proposed new Rule RALJ 7.3 would establish format rules for appellate briefs. The proposed rule is a modified version of RAP 10.4 as there are currently no format rules for briefs filed under RALJ.


The standardization of briefs and limitations as to pages will assist the superior courts in completing appeals filed under RALJ in a timely manner, especially in high volume courts. The limitations will encourage brief writers to clearly set out their arguments.


Modern data processing makes it easier for parties to comply with standards and should not impose a burden in particular on pro se litigants, as may have been the case when the RALJ was initially adopted.


Finally, despite varying local customs, the rule makes it clear that only published appellate and Supreme Court decisions are to be cited as authority.


The benefit from establishing standards would benefit litigants and increase the efficient processing of these types of cases.


Hearing: None Recommended.


Expedited Consideration: Not requested.


RULES FOR APPEAL OF DECISIONS OF COURTS OF LIMITED JURISDICTION (RALJ)


Suggested New Rule


[NEW] RULE 7.3. FORMAT OF BRIEFS



(a) Typing or Printing Brief. All briefs shall conform to the requirements of GR 14. In addition, the text of any brief typed or printed in a proportionally spaced typeface must appear in print as 12 point or larger type with no more than 10 characters per inch and double-spaced. The same typeface and print size should be standard throughout the brief, except that foot notes may appear in print as 10 point or larger type and be the equivalent of single-spaced. Quotations may be the equivalent of single-spaced. Except for materials in an appendix, the typewritten or printed material in the brief may not be reduced or condensed by photographic or other means.

(b) Length of Brief. The briefs of appellant and respondent filed pursuant to RALJ 7.2 (a) and (b) shall not exceed 18 pages. Reply briefs filed pursuant to RALJ 7.2(c) shall not exceed 6 pages. For the purpose of determining compliance with this rule, appendices are not included. For good cause, the court may grant a motion to file an over-length brief.

(c) Unpublished Opinions. A party may not cite as authority an unpublished opinion of a Washington appellate court, nor of any other state or federal court that is not published. A party may not cite as authority a decision of a superior court, a court of limited jurisdiction, or a decision of a commissioner of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals.


GR 9 COVER SHEET


Suggest New Rule


[NEW] RULE 8.4 WAIVER OF ORAL ARGUMENT



Name of Proponent: Superior Court Judges' Association (SCJA)


Spokesperson: Judge Catherine Shaffer, Chair
SCJA Legislative Committee

Purpose: RALJ 8.3 provides that "each side shall be allowed 10 minutes for oral argument. However, RAP 11.4(j) provides that, "The appellate court may, on its own initiative or on motion of all parties, decide a case without oral argument." Under the proposed New Rule 8.4 the court may on its own initiative dispense with oral argument, if the court has the appellant's and respondent's briefs.


Under current rule RALJ 8.3, the court cannot waive oral argument. Since there are some issues that are relatively simple, both counsel may agree that oral argument is not necessary. Once the court has received the appellant's and respondent's briefs, it is in a position to make an informed decision as to whether oral argument will add anything to the case.


The proposed new rule is intended to speed decision-making and save the time of litigants and the court when it is reasonable to do so. The proposed rule allows for flexibility by local courts. Those courts which feel that oral argument should be allowed are not required to waive oral argument as the rule is optional in this regard under proposed RALJ 8.4.


It is expected that this new rule will result in more efficient use of litigant and judicial time in the appropriate circumstances.


Hearing: None Recommended.


Expedited Consideration: Not requested.


RULES FOR APPEAL OF DECISIONS OF

COURTS OF LIMITED JURISDICTION (RALJ)


Suggested New Rule


[NEW] RULE 8.4. WAIVER OF ORAL ARGUMENT



The parties may, at any time, agree to waive oral argument and submit the matter for consideration by the court on the briefs that have been submitted. The court may, on its own initiative, direct that there be no oral argument, once it has received the brief of appellant and the brief of respondent.

Reviser's note: The brackets and enclosed material in the text of the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Legislature Code Reviser 

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office