In some cases, it may be better to file a new motion, rather
than a motion for reconsideration.
Chief Judge Motions
In Division One, the Chief Judge decides certain matters,
including motions to accelerate, motions to file an amicus
brief, motions to transfer a case, and oral argument requests.
The court’s staff attorneys typically make a recommenda-
tion to the Chief Judge
concerning such motions.
When requesting a
c-celeration pursuant to
ARCAP 29, be sure to
follow the rule and remember the court will not
accelerate an appeal before
the reply brief has been
filed unless there is a stipulation to accelerate. In addition, the motion should
provide a good reason for
acceleration; not wanting
to wait the normal time for the court to issue a decision
does not constitute good cause for accelerating an appeal.
The rule governing amicus briefs, ARCAP 16, changed
substantially effective January 1, 2015, and now contains
specific criteria for when an appellate court may allow an
amicus brief. Become familiar with these changes, and include the required information in a motion to submit a
brief as amicus curiae.
The clerk’s office does not immediately send requests
for oral argument to staff; they are reviewed when the reply
brief is filed and the appeal is ready for assignment to a
court calendar. A separate request for oral argument must
be filed no later than 10 days after the reply brief due date
or 10 days after the reply brief is filed, whichever is earlier.
See ARCAP 18. The Chief Judge exercises his or her discretion to grant or deny a request for oral argument.
In Division Two, the chief staff attorney assigns the cas-
es to the judges through the court’s integrated online case
docket management system. If argument is requested, she
reviews the request and the briefs, making a recommen-
dation to the judge to whom the case is assigned at the
time she assigns it; that recommendation is reflected in the
electronic notice the judge and his or her staff receive upon
assignment. However, it is that judge’s decision whether to
grant the request for argument. The judge notifies the chief
staff attorney once a decision is made, and she schedules
those cases in which the request is granted. In addition, the
court will sua sponte set a case for argument, particularly
if the judge to whom the case is assigned decides it would
be helpful, or when there is a possibility that the case will
result in a published opinion. However, attorneys should
not assume the case will result in an opinion simply because
the court granted argument.
Finally, some general suggestions for civil appellate mo-
• There is no need to
• Length: the shorter the better. The court receives a
large volume of motions, and it is easier to properly
categorize and rule on succinct motions.
submit a proposed
order with a motion.
• File a discrete motion
on each topic. Combined motions may
hinder proper handling
and delay the court’s
resolution of the vari
• Motions regarding
technical defects are
often a waste of time.
The court is not look-
ing to dismiss appeals on technical grounds and strives
to hear appeals on the merits. See ARCAP 3(a) (the
court may suspend almost any provision of the Rules).
For example, a motion to dismiss an appeal because
the opening brief does not contain a table of contents
as required by ARCAP 13 will usually be denied. Ac-
cordingly, reserve such motions for briefs that are truly
incomprehensible and/or prejudicial.
• A motion to strike a portion of a brief should specify
the page numbers where the objectionable material
appears. Keep in mind that the court is often unable to
determine whether an argument is improper without
significant review of the briefs and/or record and will
therefore usually defer a ruling on such a motion to
the merits panel. A motion to strike is most likely to be
successful when a party has included documents that
are not in the record or when a brief contains truly
• Please follow Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 5. 1(a)( 2)
when filing a motion to withdraw. That rule requires
an attorney to provide the client’s contact information,
certify that the client has been notified in writing of the
case status, and serve the client with the motion. The
court frequently receives and denies motions that do
not contain all of the required information, resulting in
additional motion practice.
• Because the court will deem an appeal abandoned if the
appellant does not pay the filing fee, it is prudent for an
appellee to wait until the appellant pays the fee before
filing a motion to dismiss.
The shorter the better. The
court receives a large volume of
motions, and it is easier to rule
on succinct motions.