Sixth Circuit shifting oral argument practice

Used to be, if you asked for oral argument, your case was scheduled for oral argument. Occasionally, argument would be cancelled at the last minute. Not anymore.

The Sixth Circuit is trying to cut down its backlog of cases and decide all cases in a more expeditious manner. To do that, they are scheduling some cases for telephone argument. Other cases are being issued "on brief day set" notices that do not acknowledge the request for oral argument.

On the plus side, cases are being decided faster. I've received six or seven opinions in the last three weeks. I have a case scheduled for telephone argument later this month where briefs were turned in just last April. Normally, there's a ten- to twelve-month wait for argument.

Also, case managers are attaching instructions to briefing schedule letters. Please take a moment to look at those, as there are some changes to how we normally write and file briefs. Seems there's a shake-up afoot at the Sixth Circuit.


Jeff Gamso said...

I had telephone argument in the 6th about 15 years ago. Hated it. I haven't had it since. If they're starting to do it more, I'm not going to be happy.

Amy B. Cleary said...

Perhaps the Sixth Circuit would be open to allowing argument via video. Argument via Video would seem to be more effective than argument via telephone.

Jeff Gamso said...

If they do video argument, they'll have to get dressed. (At least, I hope so.) I've always imagined them doing phone argument from their homes - and in their skivvies.

Ryan Harvey said...

Cost-cutting I believe is the real motivation for this new practice.