New 2014 Appeal Rules that You May Not Find in Your Hardcopy Rules Book
By Michael Wein
I’m sure there are some Maryland attorneys who, like me, look forward to receiving a hardcopy of the two-volume Maryland Rules from Lexis annually around Christmas. The hardcopy is supposed to catalogue the most updated Rules. Unfortunately, it appears that the new Rules from the late November 2013 Court of Appeals meeting, which took effect on January 1, 2014, were omitted. Therefore as a courtesy, I am reiterating that readers, before filing their certiorari, merits, or amici briefs, should review the actual Rules that took effect on January 1.
If you previously seen and somehow instantly recall my September 12, 2013 blog post on substantive proposed changes in the Maryland Rules, governing appeals in the Court of Appeals of Maryland, then much of this Post will not come as a surprise. The blog post discussed the new proposed Rules for Amicus Briefs, similar to that of the United States Supreme Court rules on amici practice. Additional changes proposed changes in the format of certiorari petitions, particularly the reduction of page limits from 25 to 15 pages.
The actual Rules are detailed here and as described on September 12, 2013 (as far as Appeal practice is concerned) were officially adopted by the Maryland Court of Appeals on November 21, 2013, from the original versions submitted by the Rules Committee. Under the Rules Order, the new rule takes effect January 1, 2014. Most of changes were similar to what I described previously. In addition, the Court of Appeals added a section to certiorari petitions, requiring “[a] particularized statement of why review of those issues by the Court of Appeals is desirable and in the public interest.” This provision was apparently added to more clearly and directly state as a “summary of the argument” for why certiorari should be granted. Apparently not all Questions Presented were easily conveying this information. The new provision bears some similarities to Fourth Circuit Rule 35(b)(1) governing rehearing en banc.