Posted by: Tasha C. Taylor | May 6, 2011

Amendment to Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 4-2(b) Gives Appellate Court Option to Avoid Rebriefing When Appellant’s Abstract or Addendum is Deficient

The Arkansas Supreme Court recently amended Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 4-2, which governs contents of briefs on appeal, to give appellate courts an additional option concerning how those courts may handle deficiencies in the appellant’s abstract or addendum. See In Re 4-2(b) of the Rules of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, 2011 Ark. 141.  With the recent amendment to Rule 4-2(b), when the Arkansas Supreme Court or the Arkansas Court of Appeals determines that deficiencies in an appellant’s abstract or addendum need to be corrected, but rebriefing is not necessary, the court may order the appellant to file a supplemental abstract or addendum.  If an appellate court allows a supplemental abstract or addendum to be filed, that must be done within 7 calendar days.  This amendment to Rule 4-2(b) became effective March 31, 2011. See In Re 4-2(b) of the Rules of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, 2011 Ark. 141

It appears that this amendment to Rule 4-2(b) will have the effect of allowing the appellate courts, in their discretion, to more quickly and efficiently obtain information that was missing from the appellant’s abstract or addendum rather than always requiring rebriefing in those situations.  Where an appellant’s abstract or addendum is deficient or where important documents were omitted, that appellant (or his or her attorney) will save the additional cost of reprinting the entire brief in cases where the appellate court determines that rebriefing is not necessary. 

The Arkansas Supreme Court’s amendment to Rule 4-2(b) reads as follows:

(b) Insufficiency of appellant’s abstract or addendum. Motions to dismiss the appeal for insufficiency of appellant’s abstract or addendum will not be recognized. Deficiencies in the appellant’s abstract or addendum will ordinarily come to the court’s attention and be handled in one of four ways as follows:

. . .

(4) If the appellate court determines that deficiencies or omissions in the abstract or addendum need to be corrected, but complete rebriefing is not needed, then the court will order the appellant to file a supplemental abstract or addendum within seven calendar days to provide the additional materials from the record to the members of the appellate court.Ark

Ark. Sup. Ct. R. 4-2(b)(4).


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