U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Appellate Procedure Guide
December 2023

Table of Contents Previous Next PDF

Note on Paper Copies: Paper copies of briefs and appendices are currently not required unless otherwise ordered by the court. Four paper copies are typically ordered if a case is tentatively calendared for argument.
Note on Brief Templates: Templates for Opening, Response, Reply, Opening/Response, and Response/Reply Briefs are available here: Brief Templates.
Do not use id., infra, or supra when citing to the appendix.
JA321-322, not JA321-22.
JA400, JA423, not JA400, 423.
< 30 pages or
< 13,000 words or
< 1,300 lines (applies only to monospaced font)
< 35 pages or
< 15,300 words or
< 1,500 lines (applies only to monospaced font)
< 15 pages for reply or amicus brief or
< 6,500 words for reply or amicus brief or
< 650 lines (applies only to monospaced font)
Note on Word Count: When using Microsoft Word to review the "Word Count," you must select the check box next to "include textboxes, footnotes and endnotes" in the Word Count dialogue window for footnotes to be included in the total. Include all footnotes, headings, and quotations in a word or line count. Exclude all of the following from a word or line count: cover page, disclosure statement, table of contents, table of authorities/citations, request for argument, addendum, signature block, and certificates of counsel.
Joint Appendices in Appeals under Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967)
The court now requires joint appendices in Anders appeals. The joint appendix should include all transcript, pleadings, and orders relating to the criminal appeal, including transcript of pre-trial, trial, guilty plea, and sentencing proceedings (arraignment, bail hearing, voir dire, and opening and closing argument transcript is not required unless relevant to a potential issue). CJA counsel should file a motion to exceed length limitations if the joint appendix exceeds 500 pages.
The appendix must be saved to PDF rather than printed to PDF to enable identification of Bates page numbers. It is strongly preferred that the electronic version of the appendix be text searchable.
07/13/2023 PSC/SCC