Supreme Court Rules, Practices, and Traditions


CourtSpeak: Rule 28—Oral Argument

“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….

Unless the Court directs otherwise, each side is allowed one-half hour for argument. Counsel is not required to use all the allotted time….

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.”


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