General Rule

Appellant’s brief is due 60 days after the record on appeal is filed.  Respondent’s brief is due 30 days after Appellant’s brief is filed.  The reply brief is due 15 days after Respondent’s brief is filed.


An appellant has the right to represent himself/herself on appeal. However, “we must hold him to the same standards of practice and procedure that we would expect of an attorney in order to ensure fairness and impartiality.” State v. Douglas, 132 S.W.3d 251,256 (Mo.App. 2004) and Hicks v. Div. of Employment Security,41 S.W.3d 638, 640 (Mo.App. 2001).


Within sixty (60) days after the record on appeal is filed, an original of appellant's brief must be filed with the Clerk of the Appellate Court. Within thirty (30) days after filing of the appellant's brief, an original of respondent's brief may be filed with the appellate court. Within fifteen (15) days after the filing of the respondent's brief, an original of appellant's reply brief may be filed.  Briefs filed in this Court must have color coded covers pursuant to Rules 30.06(g) and 84.06(f):

Appellant's brief on the merits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          white

Respondent's brief on the merits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          gray

Appellant’s second briefs in cross appeals . . . . . . .           light brown

Reply brief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          light orange

Amicus curiae or intervenors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           light red


  • Page Size, Type Style, and Spacing

    All briefs shall be prepared using computer software unless an exception applies.  Rule 84.06(a). The briefs must be on 8 ½ by 11 inch paper and typed only on one side of the page.  The type must be double-spaced, except for the cover, certificates of service, 84.06(c) certificate and signature block, which may be single-spaced.  All pages must be numbered after the cover page and the brief must be securely bound on the left.  The character font size throughout the brief, including footnotes, cannot be smaller than 13 point Times New Roman, unless an exception applies.  Rule 84.06.

    Microsoft Word format should be used if available. However, WordPerfect 5.x or higher is accepted. Page limitations are calculated based on word or line counts, which can be ascertained from the computer software program.

  • Length of Briefs

    Appellant’s brief and all briefs in a cross appeal except the reply brief shall not exceed 31,000 words or 2,200 lines of text if a monospaced font is used. Respondent’s brief shall not exceed 27,900 words or 1,980 lines.  The reply brief shall not exceed 7,750 words or 550 lines.  Rule 84.06(b).

  • Certificate of Compliance

    The brief shall also contain a certificate that states the brief complies with the limitation of Rule 84.06(b), the number of words or lines in the brief, and the information that is required by Rule 55.03.  Rule 84.06(c).

  • Floppy Disk

    A 3 ½ inch, IBM-PC compatible floppy disk containing a copy of the brief shall be filed along with the written brief. Rule 84.06(g). An adhesive label shall be affixed to each disk legibly identifying the caption of the case, the party filing the disk, the disk number (e.g., “Disk 1 of 2”), and the word processing format (e.g., Microsoft Word). The filing party must file a certification that the disk has been scanned for viruses and is virus-free. Rule 84.06(g).

  • Certificate of Service

    Proof of service on opposing counsel shall be filed with the brief and may be shown by acknowledgement of receipt, by affidavit or by written certificate of counsel making such service. Rules 20.04, 30.07 and 84.07.  Service of the brief shall consist of serving one copy of the brief in printed form and one copy of the disk. Rule 84.06(g).

  • CD-ROM Briefs

    Special Rule 16 provides that a party may file a CD-ROM brief in addition to filing paper briefs as required by Rule 84.05(a).  If a CD-ROM brief is filed, it will satisfy the requirement of Special Rule 13 for filing briefs on a floppy disk.  The paper brief shall contain a notice that a CD-ROM will be filed in lieu of a floppy disk. A CD-ROM brief shall comply with the requirements of Rule 84.05 and 84.06(g) governing service and filing, labeling, format, and virus scanning.

    The CD-ROM brief shall contain a copy of the brief and may contain the appendix to the brief, the record on appeal, exhibits, and authorities cited in the brief.

    The parties should consult with the specific requirements for CD-ROM briefs outlined in Special Rule 16.


A person who is unable to produce a brief by computer software AND has been allowed to appeal as a poor person may file a typewritten brief.  Rule 84.06(e).  Any other person unable to produce a brief as provided by Rule 84.06(a) or Rule 84.06(d) may file, with leave of court, a typewritten brief.  The briefs must be on 8 ½ by 11 inch paper,  typed on only one side of the page with margins not less than one inch on each side.  The type must be double-spaced, except for the cover, certificates of service, and signature block, which may be single-spaced.  All pages must be numbered after the cover page and the brief must be securely bound on the left.  Rule 84.06(e).  The type size must be not less than ten pitch and ten characters to the inch.  Appellant’s brief shall not exceed 100 pages; Respondent’s brief shall not exceed 90 pages and the reply brief shall not exceed 25 pages.


The contents of the brief must conform to the requirements set forth in Rules 30.06 and 84.04. Briefs not in compliance with the rules may be stricken, the party may be ordered to file a new or amended brief, or the appeal may be dismissed. In addition, Rules 30.20 and 84.13 require that the Court not consider any allegations of error that are not properly briefed. In recent years, the appellate courts have required strict adherence to the rules relating to the contents of a brief.

  • Appellant’s Brief

    The appellant's brief shall contain:

    1. Table of Contents

      A detailed table of contents with page references, and a table of cases (alphabetically arranged), statutes and other authorities cited, with reference to the pages of the brief where they are cited.  Rule 84.04(a)(1).

    2. Jurisdictional Statement

      A concise statement of the grounds upon which the jurisdiction of the reviewing court is based. Rules 30.06(b) and 84.04(b).

      General Example:“The action is one involving the question of whether the   respondent’s machinery and equipment used in its operations in removing rock   from the ground are exempt from the state sales tax law as being machinery and equipment falling within the exemption provided by Section 144.030.3(4), and hence involves the construction of a revenue law of this state.”

    3. Statement of Facts

      A fair and concise statement of the facts, without argument, relevant to the issues presented for review. Page references to the record on appeal must be included. Rules 30.06(c) & (e) and 84.04(c).

    4. Points Relied On

      A brief statement of what actions or rulings of the trial court are sought to be reviewed and wherein and why they are claimed to be erroneous. Immediately following each point relied on, the party must list the cases and other legal authority, not to exceed four, upon which the party principally relies. Rules 30.06(d) and 84.04(d). Each point relied on shall:  (A) identify the trial court or administrative ruling that the appellant challenges; (B) state concisely the legal reasons for the appellant's claim of reversible error; and (C) explain in summary fashion why, in the context of the case, those legal reasons support the claim of reversible error.  See Rule 84.04(d) for specific examples of the form.

      General Example: “The trial court erred in [identify the challenged ruling or   action], because [state the legal reasons for the claim of reversible error], in that [explain why the legal reasons, in the context of the case, support the claim of  reversible error].”

    5. Argument

      The argument must substantially follow the order of the "Points Relied On." The point relied on shall be restated at the beginning of the section of the argument discussing that point. If a point relates to the giving, refusal, or modification of an instruction, the instruction must be set out in full in the argument portion of the brief.  The argument shall also include a concise statement of the applicable standard of review.  Page references to the transcript must be included. Rules 30.06(e) and 84.04(e).

    6. Conclusion

      At the end of the brief, the party should provide a short conclusion stating the precise relief sought.  Rule 84.04(a)(6).

    7. Appendix

      A party’s brief shall contain or be accompanied by an appendix.  Rule 84.04(h).

  • Respondent’s Brief

    The respondent’s brief shall include a detailed table of contents and table of authorities and an argument in conformity with Rule 84.04(e).  The respondent may adopt the jurisdictional statement and statement of facts of the appellant or, if not satisfied, respondent may include a jurisdictional statement or statement of facts.  Rule 84.04(f) and 30.06(d).

    The argument portion shall contain headings identifying the points relied on contained in the appellant’s brief to which each argument responds.  The respondent’s brief may also contain additional arguments in support of the judgment that are not raised by the points relied on in the appellant’s brief.  Rule 84.04(f) and 30.06(d).

  • Reply Brief

    The appellant may file a reply brief but shall not reargue points covered in the main brief. Rules 30.06(g) and 84.04(g).


A party’s brief shall contain or be accompanied by an appendix.  Rule 84.04(h). The appendix must contain the following materials unless they have already been filed in another appendix: (1) the judgment, order, or decision in question, including the relevant findings of fact and conclusions of law; (2) the complete text of all statutes, ordinances, rules of court, or agency rules; and (3) the complete text of any instruction to which a point relied on relates.

An appendix must have a separate table of contents.  If it contains less than 30 pages, then it must be attached to the back of the party’s brief.  If it contains 30 pages or more, then the appendix must be separately bound.  The pages in the appendix shall be numbered consecutively beginning with page A1 and shall not be counted as part of the brief.  Rule 84.04(h).