Register for Electronic Filing:
To practice before the Fourth Circuit, attorneys must be admitted to the Fourth Circuit bar and must register for electronic case filing (ECF).
Identify any Jurisdictional Issues:
The court relies on counsel to identify any jurisdictional issues. Issuance of a briefing schedule is not a signal that the court has jurisdiction, and counsel should raise any jurisdictional issues by motion at the earliest possible time.
Determine Opposing Counsel's Position on Motions:
Motions must state whether opposing counsel consents to the requested relief or intends to file a response in opposition.
Redact Personal Data Identifiers:
For Social Security and EIN numbers, include last four digits only. For minor children, use initials only. For dates of birth, use the year only. For financial account numbers, use the last four digits only. For home addresses in criminal cases, use the city and state only.
Use Sealed Entries for Sealed Version of Filings:
Place sealed record material in a sealed volume of the appendix, and use the entry Sealed Appendix
to file sealed volumes. If sealed information is included in a brief, file a sealed version of the brief using the entry Sealed Brief
and a public version of the brief using the entry Brief
. Highlight any sealed information in the sealed version of the brief and redact any sealed information in the public version of the brief. File a certificate of confidentiality with the sealed version of the brief.
Use the Brief & Appendix Requirements Checklist in Preparing your Brief:
All parties to a side join in one brief unless leave is granted for separate briefing or unless a co-defendant in a criminal case is filing an Anders
brief. If oral argument is requested, include a statement in your brief stating why argument is needed. File motions to exceed the length limitations only in exceptional cases. File electronic and paper copies of your brief.
Use the Brief & Appendix Requirements Checklist in Preparing your Appendix:
All transcript pages must identify the witness and stage of examination in the header; do not use condensed transcript. Include a detailed table of contents, identifying individual witnesses and exhibits. Include the district court docket sheet as the first document and the indictment or complaint as the next document. Include the district court's opinion and judgment, and any magistrate judge's recommendation, as well as the notice of appeal. Include any other documents necessary for the court's understanding of the issues. File electronic and paper copies of your appendix.
Notify the Clerk's Office of Any Conflicts within the Time Set by the Tentative Calendar Notice:
Once argument has been scheduled for a date certain, it is difficult to change the date or remove the case from the calendar. Any motion must state why relief was not requested before the case was calendared for argument.