Rule 28. Oral Argument
- 1. Oral argument should emphasize and clarify the written arguments in
the briefs on the merits. Counsel should assume that all Justices have read
the briefs before oral argument. Oral argument read from a prepared text
is not favored.
- 2. The petitioner or appellant shall open and may conclude the argument.
A cross writ of certiorari or cross-appeal will be argued with the initial
writ of certiorari or appeal as one case in the time allowed for that one
case, and the Court will advise the parties who shall open and close.
- 3. Unless the Court directs otherwise, each side is allowed one-half hour
for argument. Counsel is not required to use all the allotted time. Any request
for additional time to argue shall be presented by motion under Rule
21 in time to be considered at a scheduled Conference prior to the date of oral argument and no later than 7 days after the respondent's or appellee's brief on
the merits is filed, and shall set out specifically and concisely why the
case cannot be presented within the half hour limitation. Additional time
is rarely accorded.
- 4. Only one attorney will be heard for each side, except by leave of the
Court on motion filed in time to be considered at a scheduled Conference prior to the date of oral argument and no later than 7 days after the respondent's or appellee's
brief on the merits is filed. Any request for divided argument shall be presented
by motion under Rule 21 and shall set out specifically
and concisely why more than one attorney should be allowed to argue. Divided
argument is not favored.
- 5. Regardless of the number of counsel participating in oral argument,
counsel making the opening argument shall present the case fairly and completely
and not reserve points of substance for rebuttal.
- 6. Oral argument will not be allowed on behalf of any party for whom a
brief has not been filed.
- 7. By leave of the Court, and subject to paragraph 4 of this Rule, counsel
for an amicus curiae whose brief has been filed as provided in Rule
37 may argue orally on the side of a party, with the consent of that
party. In the absence of consent, counsel for an amicus curiae may
seek leave of the Court to argue orally by a motion setting out specifically
and concisely why oral argument would provide assistance to the Court not
otherwise available. Such a motion will be granted only in the most extraordinary