I can't find any maximum length in the C.C.P, C.R.C. or the Local Rules for a trial brief. I have actually seen some briefs that are approximately 150 pages! Did I miss this information somewhere, or is it just not a concern? Is there a maximum size that most attorneys typically shoot for?
There isn't a specific page limitation for trial briefs. However, if you expect the judge to read it, you should generally keep it to 10 to 15 pages in length. The trial brief is akin to an opening statement. It should be a road map of what the evidence will cover at trial, and highlight areas of law with which the judge might not be familiar. You shouldn't go overboard making the trial brief so voluminous that it becomes meaningless. The court can always invite the parties to provide briefing on specific issues during or after the trial.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
I agree with Attorney Chen. The idea of a trial brief is to help your case by making it easier for the judge to see what the issues are in the case and what information is pertinent and favorable to your case. The brief may set forth points and authorities supporting the key legal arguments. If the brief is too long or too cumbersome, it defeats the purpose of the trial brief. The judge probably won't bother reading it.
This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The key is in the title: "Brief."
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I agree with what my colleagues have said. Keep it concise. In addition, don't forget to reference your local court rules to see whether there are any applicable discussions on trial briefs specific to the county/courthouse where your current matter is filed.
Best of luck with your matter.
-Uduak Oduok, Esq.
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