Reviewing Courts Hold Telephonic and Virtual Oral Arguments Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

April 22, 2020 7:55 AM | Carson Griffis (Administrator)

Several reviewing courts located in Illinois have begun to hold oral arguments remotely, either by telephone or by online chat services.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ordered all oral arguments through the end of April to be conduct by telephone.  On the day of the argument, the court calls counsel on a teleconference line and mutes them until it is their turn to argue.  The Presiding Judge on the panel keeps track of time and reminds counsel of the time limits.  For people interested in "attending" an argument, the Seventh Circuit livestreams audio of its arguments on its YouTube channel.

The Illinois Supreme Court announced that it is holding its May arguments via the Zoom teleconferencing platform.  The court has stated that it will hold training sessions with counsel to inform them of procedures for argument.  Like the Seventh Circuit, the Illinois Supreme Court will livestream its arguments on its own YouTube channel.

The Second District of the Illinois Appellate Court has used the WebEx videoconferencing platform for its April oral arguments.  The arguments are audio-only, and counsel may argue through the microphone on their computer or call in via phone.  The other districts of the Appellate Court have not yet announced procedures for remote oral arguments.

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