The Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals have some rule changes that will take place at the beginning of the year – which I can hardly believe is only two weeks from now.
The most important change for practitioners is the addition of a word count limit to documents filed in the Court of Special Appeals or the Court of Appeals. Practitioners are also now required to include a Word Count and Compliance with Rule 8-122 Certification. The new word count limits are provided in Rule 8-503. Additionally, Rule 8-122 provides for page limits that are associated with each word count limit.
The time for oral argument in the Court of Special Appeals is also reduced from 30 minutes (with the explicit right to reduce that to a shorter period), to 20 minutes per side. The time for oral arguments in the Court of Appeals remains 30 minutes per side. In both courts, the court can alter the prescribed time at the request of a party. Requests for additional time, as in the prior rule, must be made no later than ten days after the filing of the appellee’s brief. See Rule 8-522.
The appellate courts of Maryland are particular about the form and procedure of practice before them. The importance of detailed understanding of and compliance with these Rules cannot be overstated. As always, you can access the Maryland Code and Maryland Rules here at no cost: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/mdcode/ The Rules for the Maryland Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals are found in Title 8.