Pilots are required to learn and use checklists for every aspect of flight, from preparing for take-off to dealing with equipment malfunction. It was a checklist that helped Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeffery Skiles safely land their US Airways flight in the Hudson River after the plane’s engines were damaged by a flock of geese.

Checklists are part of the foundation of our company and critical to our success.  We use them to communicate a variety of information, from work goals and project objectives to our ability to get more than 1,200 briefs docketed each year.  Here now – the second entry in our six-part series – is our Brief in Opposition Checklist:

  • Cover
    • No. ___
    • In the Supreme Court of the United States
    • Who v. Who
    • On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to … (match the lower court as directed by the Supreme Court’s docket)
    • Title of Brief (“Brief in Opposition” or “
      [Party Name’s] Brief in Opposition”)
    • Name, address, phone number, and email address for counsel of record; Other members of the Supreme Court Bar and active members of the bar in their highest state court may also appear on the cover
  • Questions Presented (not required)
    • May include if dissatisfied with petitioner’s questions presented
  • Corporate Disclosure (if filed by a non-governmental corporation)
  • Table of Contents
  • Table of Authorities
  • Opinions Below (if dissatisfied)
  • Statement of Jurisdiction (if dissatisfied)
  • Constitutional/Statutory Provisions Involved (if dissatisfied)
  • Statement of the Case (if dissatisfied)
  • Argument/Reasons for Denying the Petition
    • The essential task of the brief in opposition is to demonstrate to the Court that the petition fails to meet the criteria set forth in Rule 10. In addition to presenting other arguments for denying the petition, the brief in opposition should address any perceived misstatement of fact or law in the petition that bears on what issues properly would be before the Court if certiorari were granted
  • Conclusion
    • State the relief sought
  • Appendix (optional)
    • Appendix material must be typeset to meet the Court’s formatting requirements
    • If including appendix material, you must also include a table of appendices

Due Date: Once a petition is filed and docketed by the Court, respondents have 30 days within which they may, if they choose, file a brief in opposition. When the case is docketed, counsel for respondents will receive a notice from counsel for petitioners indicating the docket number, the date the case was docketed, and a form to be used if counsel wishes to “waive” filing a brief in opposition.

Cover: Orange, 65-pound cover stock.

Word Limit: 9,000 words exclusive of: questions presented, list of parties and corporate disclosure statement, table of contents, table of cited authorities, listing of counsel at end of document and any appendix documents. Verbatim provisions set forth under the “Constitutional/Statutory Provisions Involved” heading are also excluded.

Method of Filing: Filing means the actual receipt of documents by the Clerk; or their deposit in the United States mail, with first-class postage prepaid, on or before the final date allowed for filing; or their delivery to a third-party commercial carrier, on or before the final date allowed for filing, for delivery to the Clerk within three calendar days.

How to Schedule with Cockle:  We recommend doing this as soon as you’ve decided to file your brief in opposition, as our schedule fills up quickly.  If you are considering filing a Supreme Court brief in opposition, or have any questions about our process and pricing, give us a call at (800) 225-6964 or email contact@cocklelegalbriefs.com.