Portrait of Ashley Exposito

Ashley Exposito

The December 2020 amendments to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure look like they are here to stay. Since the advent of the coronavirus, Florida rules and procedures have evolved to accommodate the new virtual world that many attorneys have found themselves immersed in even today. The Florida Supreme Court has implemented these new technical requirements in pursuit of mitigating technical issues so often run into by both lawyers and judges navigating the online field. The Florida Supreme Court’s addition of Rule 9.045 sets forth requirements involving the drafting of electronic appellate documents, including font size, style, and word limit. In addition, Rules 9.100 (1) and 9.210 (a)(1)-(3) were removed as they no longer served a purpose under the recently added Rule 9.045. The new rule has the legal world saying farewell to the beloved Times New Roman and hello to Bookman Old Style or Arial. The Florida Supreme Court’s reasoning behind these font requirements stemmed from some crafty practitioners using different fonts to work around the page limit requirements under the appellate rules. These two fonts were also implemented to make electronic filed briefs more reader friendly. Due to the increased size of these two fonts, the Florida Supreme Court has also gone from using a page limit requirement to a word limit requirement to keep in line with the former rules for computer-generated briefs. Though these may seem like small changes, the Florida Supreme Court continues to show its efforts to evolve with the continuously changing online landscape and the virtual world that is likely here to stay.