The Maryland Court of Special Appeals (COSA) now allows pro se appellants to file an informal brief in family law and certain other cases. The comment to Maryland Rule 8-502(a)(9) rule states: “Informal briefing in the Court of Special Appeals is intended to provide meaningful review of issues raised by self-represented parties without requiring compliance with the technical requirements of Rules 8-501 through 8-504”. For a self-represented appellant, Stewart A. Sutton recommends that the informal brief be reviewed by an attorney.
COSA’s guidelines provides that that if an appellant files an informal brief, an appellee may choose to file an informal brief or a formal brief.
Stewart A. Sutton recently filed an informal appellee’s brief in response to an appellant’s informal brief in a family law case. The filing of an informal brief on behalf of client saved the client a substantial amount of money, because the informal brief does not need to include a Table of Contents, Table of Authorities, or Record Extract. In the subject case, COSA dismissed the pro se appellant’s appeal on the grounds that it was not timely filed.