The Appellate Division issued a Notice to the Bar today regarding oral argument in that court. That Notice, titled “Oral Argument in the Appellate Division,” is available here.
The Notice began by summarizing the right to oral argument and the proper method and timing for submitting a request for oral argument. It then went on to note that “[i]f one of the parties has filed a timely request for oral argument, the other parties may rely upon that request and need not file their own requests for oral argument. A party may withdraw its request for oral argument only if it has the consent to do so from all other parties participating in the appeal.”
The Notice then turned to the question of attorney vacations and their effect on oral argument scheduling. “In scheduling appeals for oral argument, the Clerk’s office takes into account attorneys’ vacation plans and other conflicts which the Clerk’s office has been apprised of prior to scheduling.” Noting an increase in requests for postponements of oral argument, the Notice emphasized the need to advise the Clerk’s office of vacations and other conflicts in advance. Absent such advance notice of vacations or other conflicts, “the court will not adjourn an appeal scheduled for oral argument for such reason. In the event of such a conflict, the court will consider, on notice to all parties, an application to have the case submitted for determination on the briefs.”
This Notice is a word to the wise: if you have a vacation or other looming conflict, notify the Appellate Division in advance or risk losing the ability to argue orally.