In the Q&A at the end, someone pointed out to the judge that the court's own online practitioners' guide does not seem to encourage reply briefs:
The rules allow for an appellant to file a reply brief to address arguments raised in theNone of that is *wrong*, but the tone does not seem to encourage reply briefs, and some lawyers inexperienced in appellate practice might take the guide to be discouraging them from filing reply briefs unless they have some special reason. Certainly, the guide doesn't make them sound nearly as important as Judge Barksdale thinks they are.
appellee’s brief, FED. R. APP. P. 28(c); however, just because it is allowed does not mean that every appellant has to file one. If your reply brief merely reiterates what is already in your opening brief, it serves little purpose and only delays consideration of your appeal. Reply briefs should be filed only if necessary to rebut an important argument in the appellee’s brief.
The amusing thing was of course that the good judge was only faintly aware of the existence of said document, and not at all of its contents. I wonder who writes those things? They probably do get circulated to the court, I'd imagine, but judges are busy folks and not all of them really care to read a 60-page document they don't actually *have* to read.