In this post, I discuss the record on appeal, what is required, and the important role it plays in the Arkansas appellate practice.
When compiling the record on appeal, it is important that you carefully adhere to the Rules of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals and the Rules of Appellate Procedure. The applicable rules surrounding the record on appeal can be quite complex and detailed. In this post, however, I will simply provide a basic overview of the record on appeal and its important role within the Arkansas appellate process.
Transcript of Proceedings
When filing the notice of appeal, you must order from the court reporter a transcript of those parts of the proceedings designated in the notice of appeal. There is a fee associated with such a request, and so any such fee required by the court reporter must be paid upon making this request. (These requirements are outlined in Ark. Code Ann. § 16-13-510(c)).
If you intend to argue that a finding or conclusion made at the lower court is unsupported or contrary to the evidence, you must include in the record on appeal a transcript of all the relevant evidence in question.
If you have designated less than the entire record or proceeding, however, the appellee—that is, your opposing party as the appellant—may, if he or she deems other parts of the proceeding to be relevant, serve upon you a designation of additional parts of the record that should be included.
Such a designation must be served upon you—and the court reporter if the appellee desires additional testimony to be included—within ten days of receiving the notice of appeal. If you receive such a designation, you must then direct the reporter to include in the transcript those parts that have been designated by the appellee.
Record on Appeal Should Be Abbreviated
The appellant should not simply include the entire record, unless the entire record is important for purposes of the appeal. All matters not essential to the decision of the matters presented on appeal should be omitted from the record. The formal parts of the exhibits and any additional copies of documents should be omitted, and all irrelevant and formal portions of documents should also be removed.
The record can be quite extensive, and so the Supreme Court encourages brevity where possible. The court may impose costs upon you if you violate this rule.
In addition, where a good faith effort to abbreviate the record results in a deficiency, the court will not dismiss the appeal on account of such deficiency without first providing you notice and a reasonable opportunity to correct the issue.
Certification and Transmission of the Record
The clerk of the circuit court must certify that the record is a true and correct copy of the record. After the record has been so certified by the clerk, you are responsible for transmitting the record to the Clerk of the Courts.