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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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RULE 208

RULE 208
INITIAL BRIEFS

(a) Time for Serving and Filing Initial Briefs.

(1) Brief of Appellant.  Within thirty (30) days after receiving the transcript or, if no transcript is ordered, within thirty (30) days after serving the notice of appeal, appellant shall serve one copy of his brief on all parties to the appeal, and file with the clerk of the appellate court one copy of the brief with proof of service.

(2) Brief of Respondent.  Within thirty (30) days after service of appellant's brief, respondent shall serve one copy of his brief on all parties to the appeal and file with the clerk of the appellate court one copy of the brief with proof of service.

(3) Reply Brief.  An appellant may file and serve a brief in reply to the brief of respondent.  If a reply brief is prepared, appellant shall, within ten (10) days after service of respondent's brief, serve one copy of the reply brief on all parties to the appeal and file with the clerk of the appellate court one copy of the reply brief with proof of service.

(4) Failure to File.  Upon the failure of the appellant to file and serve his brief within the time prescribed, the clerk of the appellate court shall sign an order dismissing the appeal, and the appeal shall not be reinstated except as provided by Rule 260.  Upon the failure of respondent to timely file a brief, the appellate court may take such action as it deems proper.

(b) Content.  The initial briefs under this Rule and the final briefs under Rule 211 shall contain:

(1) Brief of Appellant.  The brief of appellant shall contain under appropriate headings and in the order here indicated:

(A) Table of Contents and Cases.  A table of contents, with page references, and a table of cases (alphabetically arranged), statutes, and other authorities cited, with references to the pages of the brief where they are cited.

(B) Statement of Issues on Appeal.  A statement of each of the issues presented for review.  The statement shall be concise and direct as to each issue, and may be stated in question form.  Broad general statements may be disregarded by the appellate court.  Ordinarily, no point will be considered which is not set forth in the statement of the issues on appeal.

(C) Statement of the Case.  The statement shall contain a concise history of the proceedings, insofar as necessary to an understanding of the appeal.  The statement shall not contain contested matters and shall contain, as a minimum, the following information:  the date of the commencement of the action or matter; the nature of the action or matter;  the nature of the defense or of the response; the action of the court, jury, master, or administrative tribunal; the date(s) of trial or hearing; the mode of trial; the amount involved on appeal; the date and nature of the order, judgment or decision appealed from;  the date of the service of the notice of appeal; the date of and description of such orders, judgments, decisions and proceedings of the lower court or administrative tribunal that may have affected the appeal, or may throw light upon the questions involved in the appeal; and any changes made in the parties by death, substitution, or otherwise.  Any matters stated or alleged in appellant’s statement shall be binding on appellant.

(D) Argument.  The brief shall be divided into as many parts as there are issues to be argued.  At the head of each part, the particular issue to be addressed shall be set forth in distinctive type, followed by discussion and citations of authority.  A party may also include a separate statement of facts relevant to the issues presented for review, with reference to the record on appeal, which may include contested matters and summarize the party's contentions.

(E) Conclusion.  A short conclusion stating the precise relief requested.

(2) Brief of Respondent.  The brief of respondent shall conform to the requirements of Rule 208(b)(1)(A)-(E), except that a statement of the issues or of the case need not be made unless the respondent is dissatisfied with the statement of the issues or of the case by appellant.  If a respondent does not include his own statement of the case, he shall be bound by the matters stated or alleged in appellant's statement of the case.  If a respondent does include his own statement of the case, he shall be bound by the matters stated or alleged in his statement of the case.  Respondent's brief may also contain argument asking the court to affirm for any ground appearing on the record as provided by Rule 220(c).

(3) Reply Brief.  All reply briefs shall contain a table of contents, with page references, and a table of cases (alphabetically arranged), statutes, and other authorities cited, with references to the pages of the reply brief where they are cited.

(4) References to Record.  The brief shall contain references to the transcript, pleadings, orders, exhibits, or other materials which may be properly included in the Record on Appeal [see Rule 210(c)] to support the salient facts alleged.  References shall also be made to where relevant objections and rulings occurred in the transcript.  In the initial briefs, these references should be to the page and line number of the transcript prepared by the court reporter or by the page of the material to be referenced;  e.g., Answer p. 7, Motion for Judgment p. 2, Transcript p. 231.  Intelligible abbreviations may be used.  After the Record on Appeal is prepared, these references shall be revised as provided by Rule 211(b)(1).

(5) Length of Briefs.  Except in cases in which a sentence of death has been imposed, principal briefs shall not exceed fifty (50) pages, and reply briefs shall not exceed twenty-five (25) pages.  On motion, the appellate court may grant a party permission to exceed those limitations.

(6) Joining in Briefs.  In cases involving more than one appellant or respondent, including cases consolidated for appeal, any number of parties may join in a single brief, and any party may adopt by reference all or any part of the brief of another.

(7) Supplemental Citations.  When pertinent and significant authorities come to the attention of a party after his initial brief(s) has been served and filed, the party shall promptly advise the clerk of the appellate court, by letter, with a copy to all counsel, setting forth the citations.  There shall be a reference either to the page of the brief or to an issue to which the citations pertain, but the letter shall, without argument, state the reasons for the supplemental citations.  Any response shall be made promptly and shall be similarly limited.

(8) Form.  All briefs shall comply with the requirements of Rule 267, except that the cover of initial briefs may be made of white paper of not less than twenty pound weight and the initial briefs shall not be bound but shall be securely stapled or fastened on the top left hand corner.

Last amended by Order dated January 29, 2009, effective April 29, 2009, by Order of the same date.