Will There Be Oral Arguments on my Appeal?

The short answer is, it depends. While oral arguments are heard for many cases, oral argument is not mandatory on appeal. In fact, most jurisdictions will not hold oral argument unless it is specifically requested by one of the parties. Even then, the court may decide to not hear oral arguments.

Any party to an appeal can request oral argument. This request must be made in either the appellant’s brief or the response. Local court rules dictate where this request must be made. For example, some jurisdictions require it be on the cover of the requesting party’s brief, while others require that it be within the brief itself.

State statutes provide guidelines for determining whether oral argument is necessary. For example, in Wisconsin, oral argument unnecessary where:

  • The appellate arguments:
    1. Are plainly contrary to relevant legal authority that appear to be sound and are not significantly challenged;
    2. Are on their face without merit and for which no supporting authority is cited or discovered; or
    3. Involve solely questions of fact and the fact findings are clearly supported by sufficient evidence; or
  • The briefs fully present and meet the issues on appeal and fully develop the theories and legal authorities on each side so that oral argument would be of such marginal value that it does not justify the additional expenditure of court time or cost to the litigant.

Wis. Stat. § 809.22. Where neither of the above two criteria are met, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals will request oral argument.

If oral argument is requested in your case, the clerk of the court of appeals will notify you that oral argument has been requested, and advise you of how much time you will be given.

To speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your appeal, contact the Alderman law Firm today for your free consultation by calling 720-588-3529 (CO) or 608-620-3529 (WI).