A recent Maine Law Court decision provides a warning to the bar and public: failure to comply with Rule 8 of the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure may result in dismissal of an appeal. Rule 8 describes specific requirements for the appendix to be filed on appeal, including size, contents, and order of documents. In Hall v. Camden Hills Farm by the Sea, LLC, 2017 ME 150, the court dismissed an appeal for failure to comply with those rules, and cautioned that litigants can expect Rule 8 to be more “rigorously enforced” than it has been in the past.
In its decision, the court noted its surprise at the number of non-compliant appendices it receives, pointing out that Rule 8 has remained “largely unchanged” for the past sixteen years, has been “widely published” on the Court’s website, rule books, and electronic research, and has been the subject of “numerous continuing legal education programs and discussions in court opinions and law practice articles and commentary.” Id. ¶ 12.
The point to be taken from Hall is that the Law Court considers hundreds of appeals each year and has a specific way it wants the appendix to be prepared. In fact, Rule 8 has now been amended in the newly restyled Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure. Lawyers and members of the public should closely review the amended Rule 8 to ensure strict compliance with the rule.