My understanding is that when appealing from county court to district court, rule 411 applies. In reading the section on briefs, I see reference to the opening brief and the answer brief but nothing about the reply brief. In C.A.R. 28 there is mention of the timing to file a reply brief but I'm not clear on how C.A.R. 28 and rule 411 interact, if at all. The appellee included a certificate of compliance per C.A.R. 28 with their answer brief. Also, the answer brief was signed by an attorney that I don't recall having made an appearance. If a law firm is engaged, are all attorneys in the firm automatically admitted?
First, by filing and signing the pleading, the attorney is entering an appearance. All of the attorneys from a law firm do not have to enter an appearance for one attorney to file and sign a pleading. Although technically, courts want attorneys to file an entry of appearance, it is not mandatory to do so in CO. You are correct in understanding that there is no provision for a reply brief in an appeal from county court to district court, where there is a specific provision for such in a district court appeal. So, the District Court is not expecting the necessity of filing a reply brief. That being said, I have never seen a District Court ignore the filing of a reply brief by an Appellant to correct misinformation that was stated by the Appellee in the Answer. It is like the second closing for the prosecution in a criminal case. Remember that in civil cases, the plaintiff does not have an opportunity to give a rebuttal closing argument or respond to the defendant's closing argument. Such is the reason for not requiring or expecting a Reply in a County Court appeal to District Court. I hope that this helps.
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.
THe Colorado Appellate Rules generally do not apply to appeals from county court to district court. Some practitioners do reference the CAR in county court appeals, such as the certificate of complaince, but that is not required. Courts do consider what is filed, unless there is a motion to strike.
This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is advisable to consult with an attorney with full disclosure of relevant facts for a comprehensive leagl opinion.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline