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 first entry in our six-part series – is our Petition for Writ of Certiorari Checklist:

  • Cover
    • No. ___
    • In the Supreme Court of the United States
    • Who v. Who
    • On Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to … (the federal court of appeals in involved or the highest state court to review the merits of your case)
    • Title of Brief (“Petition for a Writ of Certiorari”)
    • Name, address, phone number, and email address for counsel of record; Other members of the Supreme Court Bar and active members of their state’s highest court may appear on the cover)
  • Questions Presented
  • List of Parties (unless case caption contains all names)
  • Statement of Related Cases
  • Corporate Disclosure (if filed by a non-governmental corporation)
  • Table of Contents (with appendix index)
  • Table of Authorities
  • Opinions Below
    • Indicate whether the opinions of the lower courts in this case have been published, and if so, include their citation(s).
  • Statement of Jurisdiction
    • Jurisdiction is invoked under 28 U.S.C. § 1254(1) for cases from federal courts and 28 U.S.C. § 1257(a) for cases from state courts.
  • Constitutional/Statutory Provisions Involved
    • Provide the actual wording of the relevant portions of constitutional provisions, statutes, and regulations involved in the case (may be excised).
  • 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.
  • Argument/Reasons for Granting Writ
    • Use this section to demonstrate errors in the lower court’s decision and the national importance of having the Supreme Court decide the questions involved. It may be important to demonstrate that the ruling of the court that decided this case is in conflict with the decisions of another appellate court.  The reasons should be as concise as possible.
  • Conclusion
    • State the relief sought.
  • Appendix (must be typeset to the Court’s booklet format)
    • Opinions, orders or judgments to be reviewed.
    • Any other relevant opinions, orders or judgments.
    • Order on rehearing (if any).
    • Constitutional provisions, treaties, statutes, ordinances and regulations involved.
    • Any other relevant material (may be excerpted).

Due Date: A petition must be filed within 90 days from the date of the entry of the final judgment in the United States court of appeals or highest state appellate court, or 90 days from the denial of a timely-filed petition for rehearing.  The issuance of a mandate has no bearing on the computation of time and does not extend the time for Supreme Court filing.

Cover: White, 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 petition, as our schedule fills up quickly.  If you are considering filing a Supreme Court petition or have any questions about our process and pricing, give us a call at (800) 225-6964 or email [email protected].