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Massachusetts Appellate Procedure
Rule 20: Form of Briefs, Appendices and Other Papers

(a) Form of Briefs and the Appendix. Except on order of the appellate court or a single justice, or if filed on behalf of a party allowed to proceed in forma pauperis, all briefs and appendices shall be produced by any duplicating or copying process which produces a clear black image on white paper. However produced, the page shall be eight and one-half inches in width and eleven inches in height. Pages shall be firmly bound at the left by saddle-wiring, side-wiring, stapling, or sewing. If side-wired or sewn, a strong paper cover shall be used. A transcript of testimony or a report of evidence may be included as part of the appendix and may be reproduced by Xerography or a similar process. No single volume of the appendix shall be more than one and one-half inches thick. The text of appendices may appear on both sides of the page.

The following rules shall govern the format of text on a page for all briefs:

(1) The top and bottom margins shall be at least one inch. The left and right margins shall be at least one and one-half inches. Thus, the text area should not be more than five and one-half inches in width no more than nine inches in height. Page numbers may appear in the margin.

(2) The typeface shall be a monospaced font (such as pica type produced by a typewriter or a Courier font produced by a computer word processor) of 12 point or larger size and not exceeding 10.5 characters per inch.

(3) Text shall be double-spaced, except that argument headings, footnotes and indented quotations may be single-spaced. For purposes of this rule, single spacing means not more than six lines of text per vertical inch; double spacing means not more than three lines of text per vertical inch and not more than twenty-seven double-spaced lines on a page.

(4) The text may appear on both sides of the page.

Briefs or appendices not in substantial compliance with these rules shall not be received unless the appellate court or a single justice shall otherwise order. The cover of the brief of the appellant shall be blue; that of the appellee, red; that of an intervenor or amicus curiae, green; that of any reply brief, gray. The cover of the appendix, if separately bound, shall be white. The front covers of the briefs and appendices, if separately produced, shall contain: (1) the name of the court and the number of the case; (2) the title of the case (see Rule 10(a)); (3) the nature of the proceeding in the court (e.g., Appeal; Application for Review) and the name of the court, agency, or board below; (4) the title of the document (e.g., Brief for Appellant, Appendix); and (5) the names, Board of Bar Overseers (BBO) numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses if any of counsel representing the party on whose behalf the document is filed, and, if an individual counsel is affiliated with a firm, the firm name.

(b) Form of Other Papers. Petitions for rehearing shall be produced in a manner prescribed by subdivision (a). Motions and other papers may be produced in like manner, or they may be typewritten in pica type upon opaque, unglazed paper eight and one half by eleven inches in size. Lines of typewritten text shall be double spaced. Consecutive sheets shall be attached at the left margin. Carbon copies may be used for filing and service if they are legible.

A motion or other paper addressed to the court shall contain a caption setting forth the name of the court, the title of the case, the file number, and a brief descriptive title indicating the purpose of the paper; said caption shall appear on the first page, typed so as to be legible.

The cover of applications for direct appellate review and for further appellate review shall be white.

Such motion or paper shall contain, at the end thereof, the names, Board of Bar Overseers (BBO) numbers, addresses, and telephone numbers of counsel, if any, representing the party on whose behalf the motion or paper is filed, and, if an individual counsel is affiliated with a firm, the firm name.

Amended effective February 24, 1975; February 1, 1991; January 1, 1992; amended December 1, 1998, effective January 1, 1999; March 5, 2010, effective May 1, 2010..

Reporter's Notes (2010). Rule 20(a)(4) has been amended to require attorneys to include their e-mail addresses, if any, on the front cover of briefs and appendices. A similar amendment to Mass. R. Civ. P. 11(a) was adopted in 2010 requiring attorneys to include their e-mail addresses on pleadings.