Reply Brief Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Reply Brief, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Reply Brief?

(n) Reply Brief is the written statement containing briefs of the case explaining his legal stand in the trial court which he won, filed by the person against whom an appeal was filed in the appellant court

History and Meaning of Reply Brief

A Reply Brief is a legal document that is filed in response to an Appellant's Brief. In this document, the Appellee responds to the arguments made in the Appellant's Brief and tries to defend the judgment that was made in the trial court. The primary purpose of filing a Reply Brief is to address any new arguments or evidence that were presented in the Appellant's Brief that were not presented earlier.

The deadline for filing a Reply Brief varies in different courts and jurisdictions. Generally, the deadline is around 14 days after the Appellant's Brief is served. The length of the Reply Brief is also usually shorter than the Appellant's Brief.

Examples of Reply Brief

  1. In a criminal trial, the defendant is found not guilty of the charges against him. The prosecution disagrees with the judgment and files an appeal. The defendant files a Reply Brief in the appellate court to defend the judgment made in the trial court.

  2. In a civil case, the plaintiff wins the case, and the defendant files an appeal. In the Appellant's Brief, the defendant raises new arguments and evidence to overturn the judgment. The plaintiff files a Reply Brief to counter these arguments and defend the judgment.

  3. In a divorce case, the husband appeals the decision of the court regarding child custody. The wife files a Reply Brief to respond to the arguments raised by the husband's Appellant's Brief and defend the custody decision made by the trial court.

Legal Terms Similar to Reply Brief

  1. Appellant's Brief: A written argument presented by the party who is appealing the case.

  2. Appellee's Brief: A written argument presented by the party who is defending the judgment made by the trial court.

  3. Memorandum of Law: A document that sets forth the legal and factual arguments supporting one side of a case.