Courtesy of the Federal Public Defender's Office for the Southern District of Texas, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, we offer the following two "shells" for briefs filed in this court. You may download them and use them as a guide to the proper contents of the briefs, the sequence of required portions, for spacing purposes, and as examples of appropriate typeface, etc., in preparing your briefs. THE LANGUAGE IN THE SAMPLES, I.E. THE REQUESTS FOR ORAL ARGUMENT, THE STATEMENTS OF JURISDICTION, FORWARDING LETTERS, ETC., MAY NOT APPLY TO YOUR CASE. YOU WILL HAVE TO TAILOR YOUR BRIEFS TO THE SPECIFICS OF YOUR CASE AND USE YOUR OWN LANGUAGE. THESE FORMATS ARE ONLY AN ORGANIZATIONAL AND ILLUSTRATIVE GUIDE, NOT A FORM TO BE SUBMITTED IN EACH CASE.

The first sample* format is for an appellant's brief in a criminal case. It also includes a sample format for a certificate of compliance, record excerpts and a forwarding letter to this office. Please note that this sample format is arranged as required by Fed. R. App. P. 28(a) and 5th Cir. R. 28.3. To download the WordPerfect version of the first sample, click here.

The second format* is more generic and may be used as a guideline for both an appellant's and an appellee's brief. It does not include a Certificate of Interested Persons, which is generally not required in cases with governmental parties, see 5th Cir. R. 28.2.1. It also does not include a defined section on the standard of review. This is because an appellee's brief need not state the standard of review unless the appellee disagrees with the appellant's statement of the standard. To download the WordPerfect version of the second sample, click here.

These formats are designed to assist you in preparing your briefs, but you must closely read Fed. R. App. P. 28 and 32, and 5th Cir. R. 28 and 32 to ensure your brief is correctly prepared. We hope this information is of help to you.

* .PDF format, you must use Adobe Reader to view this file.