Rule 27: Content of Briefs.



(a) Brief of the Appellant.  The brief of the appellant shall contain under appropriate headings and in the order here indicated:

(1) A table of contents, with references to the pages in the brief;

(2) A table of authorities, including cases (alphabetically arranged), statutes and other authorities cited, with references to the pages in the brief where they are cited;

(3) A jurisdictional statement in cases appealed to the Supreme Court directly from the trial court indicating briefly the jurisdictional grounds for the appeal to the Supreme Court;

(4) A statement of the issues presented for review;

(5) A statement of the case, indicating briefly the nature of the case, the course of proceedings, and its disposition in the court below;

(6) A statement of facts, setting forth the facts relevant to the issues presented for review with appropriate references to the record;

(7) An argument, which may be preceded by a summary of argument, setting forth: (A) the contentions of the appellant with respect to the issues presented, and the reasons therefor, including the reasons why the contentions require appellate relief, with citations to the authorities and appropriate references to the record (which may be quoted verbatim) relied on; and (B) for each issue, a concise statement of the applicable standard of review (which may appear in the discussion of the issue or under a separate heading placed before the discussion of the issues);

(8) A short conclusion, stating the precise relief sought.

(b) Brief of the Appellee.  The brief of appellee and all other parties shall conform to the foregoing requirements, except that items (3), (4), (5), (6) and 7(B) of subdivision (a) of this rule need not be included except to the extent that the presentation by the appellant is deemed unsatisfactory. If appellee is also requesting relief from the judgment, the brief of the appellee shall contain the issues and arguments involved in his request for relief as well as the answer to the brief of appellant.

(c) Reply Briefs.  The appellant may file a brief in reply to the brief of the appellee. If the appellee also is requesting relief from the judgment, the appellee may file a brief in reply to the response of the appellant to the issues presented by appellee's request for relief.

(d) Citation of Supplemental Authorities.  When pertinent and significant authorities come to the attention of a party after the party's brief has been filed, or after oral argument but before decision, a party may promptly advise the clerk of the court, by letter, extra copies to the clerk for each judge of the appellate court, and a copy to all other parties, setting forth the citations. There shall be a reference either to the page of the brief or to a point argued orally to which the citations pertain, but the letter shall without argument state the reasons for the supplemental citation. Any response shall be made promptly and shall be similarly limited.

(e) Reproduction of Constitutional Provisions, Statutes, Rules and Regulations.  If determination of the issues presented requires consideration of a constitutional provision, statute, rule, regulation or other similar matter, they shall be reproduced in pertinent part in the brief or in an addendum at the end of the brief, or they may be supplied to the court in pamphlet form.

(f) Reference in Briefs to the Parties.  In the briefs the parties shall be referred to as in the trial court or in the other proceedings under review, or by using the actual names of the parties or descriptive terms.

(g) Reference in Briefs to the Record.  Except as provided in Rule 28(c), reference in the briefs to the record shall be to the pages of the record involved. Intelligible abbreviations may be used. If reference is made to evidence, the admissibility of which is in controversy, reference shall be made to the pages in the record at which the evidence was identified, offered, and received or rejected.

(h) Citation of Authorities.  Citation of cases must be by title, to the page of the volume where the case begins, and to the pages upon which the pertinent matter appears in at least one of the reporters cited. It is not sufficient to use only supra or infra without referring to the page of the brief at which the complete citation may be found. Citation of Tennessee cases may be to the official or South Western Reporter or both. Citation of cases from other jurisdictions must be to the National Reporter System or both the official state reports and National Reporter System. If only the National Reporter System citation is used, the court rendering the decision must also be identified. All citations to cases shall include the year of decision. Citation of textbooks shall be to the section, if any, and page upon which the pertinent matter appears and shall include the year of publication and edition if not the first edition. Tennessee statutes shall generally be cited to the Tennessee Code Annotated, Official Edition, but citations to the session laws of Tennessee shall be made when appropriate. Citations of supplements to the Tennessee Code Annotated shall so indicate and shall include the year of publication of the supplement.

(i) Word Limitations.  Except by order of the appellate court or a judge thereof, briefs shall comply with the word limitations provided in Rule 30(e).

(j) Briefs in Cases Involving Multiple Parties.  In cases involving multiple parties, including cases consolidated for purposes of the appeal, any number of parties may join in a single brief, and any party may adopt by reference any part of the brief of another party. Parties may similarly join in reply briefs.

[Amended by order file December 14, 2021, effective July 1, 2022].

Advisory Commission Comments.

Briefs will be oriented toward a statement of the issues presented in a case and the arguments in support thereof.

Subdivision (g) envisions that the clerk of the trial court will have numbered the pages of the record consecutively from start to finish as provided in Rule 25(a) of these rules.

The page limitations on arguments in briefs are based on the expectation that most arguments need not extend beyond the 50 pages authorized under subdivision (i). It should be noted that the limitation relates to the argument. The full brief may exceed the 50-page limitation.

This rule should be read in connection with Rule 40(f), which provides that the cost of reproducing briefs cannot be taxable at rates higher than those generally charged for photocopying. The parties may have their briefs commercially printed only at their own expense.

Advisory Commission Comment [1994].

In addition to this rule, internal rules of the intermediate appellate courts state that no trial error will be considered on appeal if briefs do not cite pages of the trial record where the alleged error occurred. The advocate is directed to Rule 6 of the Court of Appeals and Rule 10 of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Advisory Commission Comment [2010].

Rule 27(a) is amended to require that the appellant's brief include, for each issue presented, a statement of the applicable standard of review. Rule 27(b) is amended to add a cross-reference to amended Rule 27(a)(7)(B).

Advisory Commission Comment [2022].

Rule 27(i) has been revised to reflect the length of briefs and other referenced papers is now determined by word limitations as opposed to page limitations in accordance with revisions to Rule 30 (e).

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