[and] without unnecessary detail …. [They] should be short and not argumentative or repetitive.” S. Ct. R. 14.1(a). The question(s) may be prefaced by a short introductory statement to set the scene, so that they may be understood. Questions in cases accepted for review are usually no longer than two or three sentences each. Typically no more than three questions are presented. Make sure you state the issues clearly and without unnecessary detail. Rule 14.1(a).
LIST OF PARTIES
This page should list the parties to the proceeding if all their names do not appear on the cover. Rule 14.1(b). If all parties appear on the cover, this section is not needed.
CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
Rule 29.6 requires the identification of a party’s “parent corporations” and “any publicly held company that owns 10% or more of the [party’s] stock,” if the petition is filed on behalf of one or more nongovernmental corporate entities. If the petitioner is an individual, this section is not needed.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
(List the main headings of items that appear in your brief. Rule 14.1(c).)
TABLE OF APPENDICES
(Describe each document included in the appendix. Rule 14.1(c).)
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
(List the authorities that you cite in your brief. Rule 14.1(c).)
Indicate whether the opinions of the lower courts in your case have been published, and if so, the citation for the opinions below. Rule 14.1(d).
STATEMENT OF JURISDICTION
The purpose of the jurisdiction section is to establish the statutory source for the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, and the dates that determine whether the petition is timely filed. Rule 14.1(e). The Court draws its jurisdiction to hear federal cases from 28 U.S.C. § 1254(1) and state cases from 28 U.S.C. § 1257(a).
CONSTITUTIONAL AND STATUTORY PROVISIONS INVOLVED
Provide the actual wording of the relevant portions of constitutional provisions, statutes, and regulations involved in the case. Rule 14.1(f). Quotations exceeding 50 words must be indented throughout the brief. If the provisions involved are lengthy, they may be included in the appendix instead of the brief.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Provide a concise statement of the case which contains the facts and proceedings material to the consideration of the question(s) presented. The statement should proceed chronologically and is limited to only the relevant facts of the case. Rule 14.1(g).
REASONS FOR GRANTING THE PETITION
Use this section to demonstrate errors in the lower court’s decision and the national importance of having the Supreme Court decide the question(s) involved. It may be important to demonstrate that the ruling of the court that decided your case is in conflict with the decisions of another appellate court. The reasons should be as concise as possible. Rule 14.1(h).
Conclude by stating “For the foregoing reasons, the petition for a writ of certiorari should be granted.”
(Signature block with name, address, phone number, and email)
The appendix must contain all items required by Rule 14.1(i). Append the opinions and orders entered in conjunction with the judgment sought to be reviewed. You must also include any other relevant opinions and orders (including Magistrate Reports and Recommendations) entered in the case by intermediate and/or trial courts, and the highest court’s order on rehearing (if applicable). You may also include any other material you believe essential to understand your petition.
Certificate of Word Count Compliance
Petitions are limited to 9,000 words, excluding the cover, roman-numbered pages, and appendix. Headings and footnotes in the brief must be included in the word count. Rule 33.1(d).
This document lists the names, addresses, phone numbers and emails of all parties being served and/or their attorneys. Rule 29.5(b).
We hope these cert. petition legal writing tips have helped!