Appendix C: General Opinion Format

(Use the templates for the opinions and separates. The templates contain the appropriate formatting and important codes for posting to the website.)

A. Font:

Use 13 point Times New Roman (the True Type, not the WordPerfect version, if you have both True Type and WordPerfect Times New Roman fonts on your computer), except "IN THE SUPREME COURT" and "STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA" should be in 15 point bold Times New Roman.

B. Line spacing:

1 spaces (except as noted).

C. Margins:

One inch on the top. One-and-one-quarter inches on the sides. The bottom margin should measure one inch from the bottom of the paper to the text, not to the page number. To do this, the bottom margin should be set at one-half inch.

D. Justification:

The text should be fully justified.

E. Page Numbering:

The page number is on the bottom center of each page. The page number is suppressed on the first page.

F. Disposition:

Whether the case is AFFIRMED, REVERSED, etc., should be in all capital letters.

G. Attorneys' names:

Single-space the paragraphs listing the attorneys' names and addresses for each party. Double-space between each "attorney" paragraph. Only parenthetically note "argued," "appeared," or "on brief" if multiple attorneys were involved for a party.

H. Authoring justice's name:

Should appear in upper and lower case letters.

I. Page headers:

The short case title and the supreme court case number should appear at the top of the first page of the opinion. Do not follow the case name listed in the caption, unless it follows the citation form explained in this citation manual or the Bluebook.

J. Paragraph numbering:

The paragraph numbers should be in brackets. Do not insert a space between the paragraph symbol and number. For example, [1]. Do not indent the paragraph symbol and number.

Each new paragraph in the text of an opinion should be numbered. The numbers should run consecutively throughout the opinion.

Where there are concurring or dissenting opinions, the paragraph numbering should continue with consecutive paragraph numbers.

The following items do not constitute a new paragraph or integral part of the text and, therefore, should not be numbered:

If a supplementary opinion is issued on rehearing, and is available for printing with the original opinion, the paragraph numbering of the original opinion should be continued into the supplementary opinion. If a supplementary opinion is issued on rehearing, but is not available for printing with the original opinion, the supplementary opinion should be treated as a new opinion and the paragraphs numbered accordingly.

In the case of the insertion into the opinion of one or more paragraphs after the opinion was issued, the new paragraph should be numbered using the number of the paragraph immediately preceding the insertion in combination with letters, e.g., "11a", "11b".

K. Footnotes:

There should be no space between the superscripted footnote number and the footnote text. Footnotes should be single-spaced and fully justified.

L. Indication of New Justice or Disqualification, Retirement, or Death of Justice:

Language when case is heard with 4 and a new Justice comes to the bench subsequent to oral argument.

"The Honorable ____________ was not a member of the Court when this case was heard and did not participate in this decision."

Language when a Justice disqualifies subsequent to oral argument.

"The Honorable ____________ disqualified himself/herself subsequent to oral argument and did not participate in this decision."

Language when a Justice resigns, retires or dies subsequent to oral argument.

"The Honorable ____________, a member of the Court when this case was heard, resigned/retired/died (effective) ____________, (and did not participate in this decision)."