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Rule 29. Oral argument.

(a)(1) In cases before the Supreme Court.Oral argument will be held unless the Supreme Courtdetermines that it will not aid the decisional process.

(a)(2) In cases before the Court of Appeals.Oral argument will be allowed in all cases in whichthe court determines that oral argument will significantly aid the decisionalprocess.

(b)(1) Notice by Supreme Court; requestfor cancellation or continuance. Not later than 30 days prior to the date on which a case iscalendared, the clerk shall give notice of the time and place of oral argument,and the time to be allowed each side. If all parties to a case believe oralargument will not benefit the court, they may file a joint motion to canceloral argument not later than15 days from the date of the clerk's notice. The court will grant the motiononly if it determines that oral argument will not aid the decisional process. Amotion to continue oral argument must be supported by(1) a stipulation of all parties or a statement that the movant was unable toobtain such a stipulation, and (2) an affidavit of counsel specifying thegrounds for the motion. A motion to continue filed notlater than 15 days from the date of the clerk?s noticemay be granted on a showing of good cause. A motion to continue filedthereafter will be granted only on a showing ofexceptional circumstances.

(b)(2) Notice by Court of Appeals; waiverof argument; continuance. Not later than 30 days prior to the date on which a caseis calendared, the clerk shall give notice to all parties that oral argument isto be permitted, the time and place of oral argument, and the time to beallowed each side. Any party may waive oral argument by filing a written waiverwith the clerk not later than15 days from the date of the clerk's notice. If one party waives oral argumentand any other party does not, the party waiving oral argument may neverthelesspresent oral argument. A request to continue oral argument or for additionalargument time must be made by motion. A motion to continue oral argument must be supported by (1) a stipulation of all parties or astatement that the movant was unable to obtain such a stipulation, and (2) anaffidavit of counsel specifying the grounds for the motion. A motion tocontinue filed not later than15 days from the date of the clerk?s notice may be granted on a showing of goodcause. A motion to continue filed thereafter will be grantedonly on a showing of exceptional circumstances.

(c) Order of argument. The appellant shallargue first and the appellee shall respond. The appellant may reply to theappellee?s argument if appellant reserved part of appellant?s time for thispurpose. Such argument in reply shall be limited to responding to points madeby appellee in appellee?s oral argument and answering any questions from thecourt.

(d) Cross and separate appeals. A cross orseparate appeal shall be argued with the initial appeal at a single argument,unless the court otherwise directs. If a case involves a separate appeal, theplaintiff in the action below shall be deemed the appellant for the purpose ofthis rule unless the parties otherwise agree or the court otherwise directs. Ifseparate appellants support the same argument, care shall betaken to avoid duplication of argument. Unless otherwise agreed by theparties, in cases involving a cross-appeal the appellant, as determinedpursuant to Rule 24A, shall open the argument and present only the issuesraised in the appellant's opening brief. The cross-appellantshall then present an argument which answers the appellant's issues andaddresses original issues raised by the cross-appeal. The appellant shall thenpresent an argument which replies to the cross-appellant'sanswer to the appellant's issues and answers the issues raised on thecross-appeal. The cross-appellant may then present anargument which is confined to a reply to the appellant's answer to the issuesraised by the cross-appeal. The court shall grant reasonable requests, for goodcause shown, for extended argument time.

(e) Non-appearance of parties. If theappellee fails to appear to present argument, the court will hear argument onbehalf of the appellant, if present. If the appellant fails to appear, thecourt may hear argument on behalf of the appellee, if present. If neither partyappears, the case may be decided on the briefs, or thecourt may direct that the case be rescheduled for argument.

(f) Submission on briefs. By agreement ofthe parties, a case may be submitted for decision onthe briefs, but the court may direct that the case be argued.

(g) Use of physical exhibits at argument;removal. If physical exhibits other than documents are to beused at the argument, counsel shall arrange to have them placed in thecourtroom before the court convenes on the date of the argument. After theargument, counsel shall remove the exhibits from the courtroom unless the courtotherwise directs. If exhibits are not reclaimed by counselwithin a reasonable time after notice is given by the clerk, they shall bedestroyed or otherwise disposed of as the clerk shall think best.


 

Advisory Committee Notes

The 2013 amendments to rules 29(a) and (b)reflect current practices. The amendment to Rule 29(c) clarifies that this provisionis not intended to place any limitation on the scopeor timing of the questions posed by an appellate court during argument.

 

 

Effective November 15, 2017