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Massachusetts District/Municipal Courts Appellate Division Appeals Rule 22: Oral ArgumentRule

[Disclaimer]

(a) Notice of Argument; Postponement. The Appellate Division shall advise all parties of the time and place at which oral argument will be heard. A request for postponement of the argument must be made by motion filed reasonably in advance of the date fixed for hearing.

(b) Time Allowed for Argument. Unless otherwise enlarged or limited by the Appellate Division, each side will be allowed fifteen minutes for argument. If counsel is of the opinion that additional time is necessary for the adequate presentation of his or her argument, such additional time may be requested, but such requests will rarely be granted. Requests may be made by letter to the Appellate Division reasonably in advance of the date fixed for the argument. The Appellate Division may terminate the argument whenever in its judgment further argument is unnecessary.

(c) Order and Content of Argument. The appellant will argue first and shall include a fair statement of the case. Counsel will not be permitted to read, except briefly, form briefs, records, prepared statements or authorities. The party making the opening argument on request may be allowed the opportunity to reply in writing to new matter in the arguments of his or her adversary.

(d) Cross and Separate Appeals. A cross or separate appeal shall be argued with the initial appeal at a single argument, unless the Appellate Division otherwise directs. If a case involves a cross appeal, the plaintiff in the action below shall be deemed the appellant for the purposes of this rule unless the parties otherwise agree or the Appellate Division otherwise directs. If separate appellants support the same argument, care shall be taken to avoid duplication of argument.

(e) Non-appearance of Parties. If the appellee fails to appear to present argument, the Appellate Division will hear argument on behalf of the appellant, if present. If the appellant fails to appear, the Appellate Division may hear argument on behalf of the appellee, if his or her counsel is present. If neither party appears, the case will be decided on the briefs unless the Appellate Division shall otherwise order.

(f) No Oral Argument by an Attorney Who Has Been a Witness Except by Leave of Appellate Division. No attorney shall be permitted to take part in the argument of a case in which that attorney has been a witness for his or her client, except by special leave of the Appellate Division.

(g) Submission on Briefs. By agreement of the parties, a case may at any time be submitted for decision on the briefs, but the Appellate Division may direct that the case be argued. At any time, any party may, by written notice filed and served, waive the right to oral argument.

(h) Use of Physical Exhibits at Argument; Removal. If physical exhibits other than documents or chalks are to be used at the argument, counsel shall arrange to have them placed in the court room before the Appellate Division convenes on the date of the argument. After the argument, the exhibits shall be left with the Appellate Division unless the Appellate Division otherwise directs. If exhibits are not reclaimed by counsel within a reasonable time after notice is given by the Appellate Division, they shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the Appellate Division shall order.

Effective July 1, 1994.

Commentary: This rule is identical to Mass. R.A.P. 22 except that all references in the latter to "clerk," "court" and "appellate court" have been changed to "Appellate Division."