What is an oral argument? How do I prepare for appeals arguments?
Written by Attorney Nikie Popovich, Appellate Attorney
If your case is appealed, the Appellate Court could grant your attorney an opportunity to appear before the Appellate Court and argue your case orally. The Appellate Court would consider allowing oral argument in your case only after all appeal briefs have been filed along with case transcripts and the record on appeal.
The general purpose of oral argument in appellate cases is to explain and clarify the written arguments in the briefs. Oral arguments are not permitted as a matter of right in appeals. As such, district courts typically will only grant oral argument requests where it believes that such arguments will be beneficial in the resolution of the issues presented on appeal. Decisions regarding whether to request oral argument should be made by counsel on a case-by-case basis and with a focus on the benefit to the appellate court in understanding the issues presented on appeal.
Pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.320, any party may request that an appeal be set for oral argument. When a party files a timely request for oral argument in accordance with the rule, the district court will exercise its discretion to grant or deny it. Even if the parties do not request oral argument, the district court may, on its own initiative, set the case for oral argument.
In the event that an oral argument request is granted or oral argument is otherwise set by the district court, the parties will have an opportunity to appear before the paneled appellate court to argue the issues presented on appeal. Each party will have 20 minutes in civil cases and 30 minutes in criminal cases for the presentation of oral argument, with certain parties having the right to reserve time for rebuttal argument. If a party seeks additional time for oral argument, the party should include a specific request in the oral argument request and the request should be supported with an explanation as to how the additional time would benefit the court’s understanding of the issues presented on appeal. Parties should ensure they are available on the date oral argument is set as continuances are usually not granted for oral argument unless good cause is shown and a motion for continuance is filed prior to the scheduled oral argument.
Oral Argument is an important part of your appeal. The Appellate Court Judges may grill the attorneys about their positions looking for weak or inconsistent arguments. You need an experienced Appeal Attorney who can go toe-to-toe with the Judges and the other side.
Oral Argument is just that, an argument. The Appeal Attorney handling your case must have deep knowledge of the details of your case and the law that pertains to the case. Meticulous preparation is essential. For instance, when arguing a case involving the interpretation of a statute, an appellant Judge may start asking questions concerning state or federal constitutional issues. An effective response requires the type of experience, preparation, and knowledge our appeal attorneys bring to the table.
The Appeal Attorneys at Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley have the experience needed to argue your case. If you are looking for an experienced Appeal Attorney in Cocoa, Viera, Melbourne or anywhere in Brevard County call Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley at (321) 631-0506, phones answered 24/7.