August 05, 2016 Practice Points

Beware Oversized Briefs

If you practice in the Ninth Circuit and you want to file an oversized brief, you'd better hope Judge Alex Kozinski is not on your panel.

By Sanford Hausler

If you practice in the Ninth Circuit and you want to file an oversized brief, you’d better hope Judge Alex Kozinski is not on your panel (or you have a really good reason for the length of the brief). In Cuevas v. Hartley, Judge Kozinski dissented, in the strongest terms, from an order granting the government’s motion to file an oversized brief. Judge Kozinski pointed out that in realistically, denying a motion to file an oversized brief would throw the schedule out of kilter, so panels often grant the motion so as to keep the appeal on track, rather than because the length of the brief is necessary. He further stated that he would not read beyond page 66 of the brief and that if there were arguments that the government wanted him to consider contained in the brief after that page, it would have to send him a brief compliant with the rules.

Sanford Hausler is with Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy in New York, New York.


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