The Federal Circuit Speaks

Photo of John P. Isacson
John P. Isacson

The Clerk’s Office of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has just issued its Guide for Oral Argument (January 2020, Version 2.0). The guide includes guidelines for counsel during oral argument, and are as follows:

  • Counsel should not interrupt a judge.
  • Assume the court is familiar with the facts of the case.
  • Minimize reading.
  • Have a copy of the appendix and be familiar with the location of items.
  • Assume the court is familiar with the briefs and appendix contents.
  • When raising new authority at argument, provide a copy to opposing counsel ahead of time.
  • Stop your argument when your time expires unless the court permits you to continue.
  • Answer questions directly.
  • Avoid pejoratives.
  • When referring to specific portions of the appendix, provided accurate page citations.
  • Do not respond to a question with an unqualified citation to your brief in response to a question.
  • Counsel seated at counsel tables should neither make inappropriate facial gestures nor engage in exaggerated gesticulation.

Click here for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Oral Argument Guide.

OralArgumentGuide