Effective August 1, 2017, an amendment to Court of Chancery Rule 171(f) will go effective, setting forth word limitations for non-dispositive motions, and letters to the Court.  Under the amendment, motions filed with the Court–excluding those filed under Rules 12, 23, 23.1, 56 and 65, along with pre-trial and post-trial briefs–are subject to a more restrictive word count.  Motions impacted by this rule are to be filed without an opening brief, and may not exceed 3,000 words.  Oppositions likewise may not exceed 3,000 words, and replies shall not exceed 2,000 words.  The word limitation for motions filed under Rules 12, 23, 23.1, 56 and 65, along with pre- and post-trial briefs, remain the same (14,000 for opening and answering briefs, 8,000 for reply briefs).

In addition, the amendment changes the manner in which an attorney certifies compliance with the word count.  The word count must be stated in the signature block of the filed document governed by Rule 171(f), as opposed to filing a separate certification.

Finally, letters to the Court may not exceed 1,000 words. The amendment states that such letters should be used for “logistical and scheduling issues” and not for substantive relief.

Carl D. Neff is a partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP.  Carl is admitted in the State of Delaware and regularly practices before the Delaware Court of Chancery, with an emphasis on shareholder disputes. You can reach Carl at (302) 622-4272 or at cneff@foxrothschild.com.