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A Brief Review of Filing Deadlines

The general chronological order of the appellate process is as follows:

  • The Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days after the judgment is signed; however, under certain situations the Notice of Appeal may be due either 20 days after the date of judgment (accelerated appeal) or up to 90 days after judgment (e.g., when a motion for new trial is filed).
  • Once the Notice is filed, the appellate court requests the appellate record, which consists of the clerk's and court reporter's record.
  • Once the appellate court has obtained the appellate record, the Appellant (party filing the appeal) has 30 days to file her brief, unless the case involves an accelerated appeal, which reduces the deadline to 20 days.
  • The Appellee must file its response brief within 30 days after the Appellant's brief was filed; the same 20 day rule applies in accelerated appeals.
  • The Appellant may file a reply brief within 20 days of the filing of Appellee's brief.
  • Once the briefs have been filed, it is a matter of awaiting a decision from the appellate court or receiving notice from the court that it is requesting oral arguments.  It is extremely difficult to forecast how long it will take the court to hand down its decision.  We have been involved in cases where the decision came down about a month after oral arguments and in other cases where it took over a year after the briefs were submitted.

In addition to the above, motions may be filed at the appellate court level; each motion may carry its own particular filing deadline.