Wednesday, September 30, 2009

binding briefs

There are many methods of binding a brief, but not all meet with the approval of the court.


Some courts allow stapling, but others do not, worrying about judges' and clerks' pricked fingertips, the result of handling briefs that are improperly stapled. In New York, a judge recently dismissed a motion for default judgment because the brief was "negligently stapled" and drew blood from those who handled it.

In Arkansas, appellate counsel must cover staples with tape. What kind of tape? The rules don't say, but we can assume that duct tape is not what the court has in mind, even though one can now buy it in colors to match the customary blue and red covers sported by appellate briefs.


Many courts are fond of spiral binding because it permits the open document to lie flat. Similarly, comb-style binding--if the comb is the right size--makes for an attractive and non-lethal binding.

In Minnesota, approved methods include "Velo-Bind or 3M Clincher Model 1000 Binding" (the latter of which is apparently obsolete, it being found nowhere on the Interweb).

Running a web search for brief bindings is more likely to turn up an image like this one.

What do the courts in your practice area require--or forbid?


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