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Rule 414. Briefs (1981)


Briefs of each party shall be signed by at least one of the attorneys, shall give the post-office address of each attorney whose name is signed thereto, and shall state that a copy of the brief has been delivered or mailed to each group of opposite parties or counsel thereof. Appellant shall file six copies of his brief in the Court of Civil Appeals within 30 days after the filing therein of the transcript and statement of facts, if any, and shall deliver or mail a copy to opposing parties or their counsel; provided that in accelerated appeals, appellant's brief shall be filed within the time prescribed by Rule 385. Appellee shall file six copies of his brief in said court within 25 days after the filing of appellant's brief and at the same time deliver or mail an additional copy to each group of opposing parties or counsel thereof. Any Court of Civil Appeals may by rule permit the filing therein of a less number of briefs. Upon motion showing a reasonable explanation of the need for more time, the Court of Civil Appeals may grant either or both parties further time for filing their respective briefs, and may extend the time for submission of the case. The court may also shorten the time for filing briefs and the submission of the cause in case of emergency, where in its opinion the needs of justice require it.

Amended by order of June 10, 1980, eff. Jan. 1, 1981: The time for filing appellant’s brief is made to run 30 days from the time the transcript and statement of facts, if any, are filed. Appellee’s brief shall be filed within 25 days after appellant’s brief is filed. Additional time may be granted on showing of a “reasonable explanation” of the need rather than “good cause.” The number of copies is increased from three to six.

Prior Amendments Future Amendments
Oct. 29, 1940, eff. Sept. 1, 1941 Dec. 5, 1983, eff. April 1, 1984
March 31, 1941, eff. Sept. 1, 1941 Repealed by order of April 10, 1986, eff. Sept. 1, 1986
June 16, 1943, eff. Dec. 31, 1943  


(No. 109) Question: Under amended Rule 414, effective December 31, 1943, if a cause is pending on appeal when the rule takes effect must appellant's brief be filed in thirty days after the record is filed OR is there an enlargement of time for filing such brief?

Answer: We are of the opinion that there is an enlargement of time. As now worded, Rule 414 requires the brief to be filed within thirty days after notice of the date of submission in the Court of Civil Appeals. The amendment, on the other hand, requires it to be filed within thirty days after the date upon which the record is filed in the Court of Civil Appeals. Copies are to be filed in either instance. It should be added that the purpose of the amendment is to prevent delay and any retarding of the supply of business upon which the Courts of Civil Appeals may work. A number of situations could present themselves in an appealed case at the end of the year of 1943 when the amendment becomes effective. If as of that time notice of date of submission has not been given under the old rule and the record has not been filed there is, of course, no difficulty: the time for the brief runs from the date upon which the record shall be filed. If such notice has been given and the record had been filed, under the formula given in Odum v. Garner, 86 Tex. 374, 25 S.W. 18 (1894), whatever proportion of the old period has elapsed at the effective date of amendment is to be deducted from the new period and the rest of the new period is still open. Thus, for example, if two-thirds of the old period has elapsed, one-third of the new period, or, in this case, ten days is still open. If such notice of date of submission has not been given but the record has been filed, by the same principle (since under the old law the full thirty days are still open) full thirty days from the effective date of the amendment are available. If the record has not as yet been filed, under the express words of the amendment full thirty days will lie after the record shall be filed.

In his letter correspondent suggests that aside from any consideration of time as a matter of right, the appellate court may grant time in the exercise of discretion. In this connection we call attention to Rule 437 as amended in 1941, and express the opinion that in determining a "reasonable time" thereunder important factors would be the consideration of actual prejudice to opponent and of the convenience and business load of the court. San Antonio & Aransas Pass Ry. Co. v. Holden, 93 Tex. 211, 54 S. W. 751 (1900), and Rule 414 as amended.

7 Tex. B.J. 15 (1944) reprinted in 8 Tex. B.J. 40 (1945).