The ABC's of Appellate Practice

The ABC's of Appellate Practice
A Publication of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District


In March 1978, the Court published the first edition of this manual. This is the ninth revision of the manual, which has been made necessary by changes in the Supreme Court Rules and Eastern District Special Rules.

This manual is a summary of basic procedural requirements for processing and perfecting direct appeals from the lower courts and administrative agencies, and extraordinary remedial writs in the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. It is designed for use merely as a reference tool and a general, simple information guide for attorneys and litigants practicing before this Court. It is not to be used as a substitute for the Missouri Rules of Court or the judicial decisions interpreting them. Attorneys and litigants are urged to examine the Rules and judicial decisions when certain legal issues arise, as for example, the meaning of a "final" judgment.

The Supreme Court of Missouri has said that the Rules of Appellate Practice are simple and plain; they fill no office of red tape and must be followed for the good of court and counsel. Every lawyer should become familiar with the appellate principles set forth in Thummel v. King, 570 S.W.2d 679 (Mo. banc 1978).

Appellate practice before the Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals is governed by Supreme Court Rules that are applicable to all three appellate districts in Missouri, and certain Special Rules promulgated by the Eastern District alone.

The Supreme Court Rules that generally govern the procedure relating to appeals are found in Rule 30 (criminal appeals), Rules 81 and 84 (civil appeals) and the Special Rules of the Eastern District. In addition, electronic filing by attorneys is governed by Rule 103, Operating Rule 27, and Special Rule 333.

In addition, over the past few years this Court has established certain internal administrative procedures and policies relating to the perfection of appeals. Litigants and members of the Bar practicing before this Court should be aware and become familiar with these internal procedures. Although the material included in this manual should prove informative and helpful, the information is not meant to provide the sole basis for any action taken by a party on appeal or other proceeding pending in the Eastern District. A party should always refer to the actual text of the Rules governing appellate practice and the case law for authority. An excellent discussion of the rules of appellate practice may be found in the Missouri Bar CLE "Appellate Court Practice," 5th ed., as well as Vol. 24 of the Missouri Practice series entitled "Appellate Practice."

The Eastern District is composed of 14 judges and has general appellate and original remedial writ jurisdiction over cases arising in the City of St. Louis and 25 counties in Eastern Missouri. The Court is located in the Old Post Office, Third Floor, 815 Olive St., St. Louis, Missouri 63101. Phone No.: (314) 539-4300 and Telefacsimile No.: (314) 539-4324. The Court will accept filings in person at the Old Post Office and has a drop box at the Old Post Office. After April 2012, all attorneys representing parties in this Court must use the electronic filing system for all filings, except in confidential cases. The Court holds oral argument in St. Louis from September to June. The Court generally sits two times a year in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Hannibal, Missouri and may sit in other locations in the Eastern District during the year.