Tex. R. App. P. 38.9

As amended through August 21, 2020
Rule 38.9 - Briefing Rules to be Construed Liberally

Because briefs are meant to acquaint the court with the issues in a case and to present argument that will enable the court to decide the case, substantial compliance with this rule is sufficient, subject to the following.

(a)Formal Defects. If the court determines that this rule has been flagrantly violated, it may require a brief to be amended, supplemented, or redrawn. If another brief that does not comply with this rule is filed, the court may strike the brief, prohibit the party from filing another, and proceed as if the party had failed to file a brief.
(b)Substantive Defects. If the court determines, either before or after submission, that the case has not been properly presented in the briefs, or that the law and authorities have not been properly cited in the briefs, the court may postpone submission, require additional briefing, and make any other order necessary for a satisfactory submission of the case.

Tex. R. App. P. 38.9

Notes and Comments

Comment to 1997 change: This is former Rule 74. The rule is substantially rewritten. Paragraph 38.1(e) now specifically allows a party to either present issues or points of error. Paragraphs 38.1(f) and (g) are new and require a brief to include a statement of facts and summary of the argument. Paragraph 38.2(b) is new and gives specific requirements for cross-points. See also TEX. R. CIV. P. 324(c). Subdivision 38.3 is new and provides for a reply brief. Subdivision 38.4 imposes a total brief limit of 90 pages on each party. Thus, if more than one party has filed a notice of appeal, there will be multiple appellant's, appellee's, and reply briefs, but each party is limited to a total of 90 pages. Subdivision 38.5 is new and provides for an appendix in cases recorded electronically in the trial court. Paragraph 38.6(b) now provides that the appellee has 30 - rather than 25 - days to file a brief. The provisions of former Rules 74(I) (Number of Copies), (j) (Briefs Typewritten or Printed), and (q) (Service of Briefs) are omitted as unnecessary. See Rule 9.

Comment to 2002 change: Rule 38.6(d) is amended to clarify that an appellate court may postpone the filing of any brief, not just the appellant's brief.

Comment to 2008 change: A party may choose to include a statement in the brief regarding oral argument. The optional statement does not count toward the briefing page limit.