Appellate Practice Tip Summary: Arrange the Appellant’s Addendum Chronologically rather than Thematically.
For Arkansas appellate attorneys who have wondered how Arkansas’s appellate courts would like for an appellant’s addendum to be arranged in an appellant’s brief, we want to highlight a 2007 opinion from the Arkansas Court of Appeals that provides some guidance on this issue. Lackey v. Mays, 100 Ark. App. 286, 269 S.W.3d 397 (Ark. App. 2007).
In Lackey, former Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge D.P. Marshall, Jr. wrote for the majority. He explained that the appellant’s addendum in that case was unusual because the documents were arranged thematically rather than chronologically, which the Court interpreted as a biased approach: “This tactic makes it appear that Lackey is trying to persuade this court by organizing the documents to his advantage, giving emphasis by placement.” The Court of Appeals emphasized that “[t]he addendum–like the abstract–must be impartial.”
According to the Court, although there is no rule mandating a specific arrangement of the Addendum, “[a]rranging the documentary part of the record chronologically is the best practice.”
Without further guidance from the Arkansas Supreme Court in the Rules governing the appellant’s addendum, we suggest following the advice from the Arkansas Court of Appeals suggesting that appellants arrange their addenda in chronological order.
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