CHAPTER 23. SESSIONS AND ARGUMENT
2301. Scope of Chapter.
SCHEDULING OF ARGUMENT
2311. Submission on Briefs.
2312. Notice of Argument.
2313. Advancement or Continuance.
2314. Non-Appearance of Parties.
2315. Time for Argument. Argument Lists.
ORDER AND CONTENT OF ARGUMENT
2321. Order and Content of Argument.
2322. Cross and Separate Appeals.
2323. Physical Exhibits.
Rule 2301. Scope of Chapter.
The provisions of this chapter are subject to any inconsistent rules on the same subject set forth in:
(1) Chapter 33 (business of the Supreme Court) with respect to matters to be heard and determined in the Supreme Court.
(2) Chapter 35 (business of the Superior Court) with respect to matters to be heard and determined in the Superior Court.
(3) Chapter 37 (business of the Commonwealth Court) with respect to matters to be heard and determined in the Commonwealth Court.
SCHEDULING OF ARGUMENT
Rule 2311. Submission on Briefs.
(a) General rule.By agreement of the parties a case may be submitted for decision on the briefs, but the court may direct that the case be argued.
(b) Post conviction relief cases.All parties shall submit post conviction relief cases on the briefs unless otherwise directed by the court on its own motion or upon application.
Based on former Supreme Court Rules 32 and 71 and former Superior Court Rules 24 and 64. Counsel are no longer required to be present at the time the case is submitted, where the court has not required that the case be argued.
Rule 2312. Notice of Arguments.
The prothonotary shall give written notice to all parties of the date and place at which oral argument has been scheduled.
The effect of this rule is to commit the scheduling of a case to the discretion of the court. The rule supersedes all statutory preferences and requirements purporting to regulate the scheduling of the business of an appellate court.
Rule 2313. Advancement or Continuance.
(a) Advancement.Advancement of the argument of a case, or change from the normal place of argument, shall be allowed only on application. Ordinarily advancement will be granted to the earliest open date convenient to the court, allowing about the usual time contemplated by these rules for the service and filing of the briefs and any reproduced record, unless the objection shall set forth good cause why the case should not be advanced.
(b) Continuance.Continuance of the argument of a case to a later argument list than that designated in the notice from the prothonotary shall be allowed only on application. The appellate court or a designated judge of the appellate court may grant a continuance upon application of less than all parties without notice to the other parties when exigent. A continuance shall be granted only for compelling and persuasive reasons.
Rule 3305 provides that in the Supreme Court, the prothonotary may dispose of motions generally relating to calendar control. In the Superior Court, continuances are handled by the presiding judge of the panel. In the Commonwealth Court, continuances are handled by the president judge or duty judge. In each appellate court, the application is to be submitted to the prothonotary and not to an individual judge of the appellate court.
The provisions of this Rule 2313 amended December 10, 1986, effective January 31, 1987, and shall govern all matters thereafter commenced and, insofar as just and practicable, matters then pending, 16 Pa.B. 4951; amended July 7, 1997, effective in 60 days, 27 Pa.B. 3503. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (115454) to (115455).
Rule 2314. Non-appearance of Parties.
If appellant or the moving party is not ready to proceed when a case is called for oral argument, the matter may be dismissed as of course. The court in its discretion may hear a party who is ready ex parte; or the court may act in such manner as under the circumstances may be deemed to be appropriate.
Based on former Supreme Court Rule 30, former Superior Court Rule 22 and former Commonwealth Court Rule 72, without change in substance. Where appellant is not ready to proceed at argument and has filed no brief, the appeal will be dismissed as of course. In re Rays Estate, 281 Pa. 297, 126 Atl. 751 (1924). See Rule 2188 (consequence of failure to file briefs and reproduced records).
Rule 2315. Time for Argument. Argument Lists.
(a) General rule.Oral argument is not a matter of right and will be permitted only to the extent necessary to enable the appellate court to acquire an understanding of the issues presented. The presiding judge may terminate the argument for any party notwithstanding the fact that the maximum time for argument specified in the applicable provision of these rules has not been exhausted.
(b) Assignment to lists.Argument lists shall consist of the regular list and short list. All cases listed for argument shall be placed upon the regular list unless all the parties upon praecipe to the prothonotary of the appellate court request the case to be placed upon the short list.
(c) Short list.The time for argument of cases on the short list shall be limited to not more than 15 minutes for each side. On days when there are cases on both the short list and on the regular list those on the short list shall be heard first and in order of listing.
(d) Regular list.The time for argument of cases on the regular list shall be limited to not more than 30 minutes for each side. When there are two or more appeals from the same order, and in joint appeals, even though they raise different or unrelated questions, the person or persons arguing for all the appellants will be limited to a total of not more than 30 minutes for argument, and the person or persons arguing for all the appellees to a total of not more than 30 minutes. The maximum time shall be divided between or among the appellants or between or among the appellees respectively as they may decide, subject to reduction as prescribed in paragraph (a) of this rule.
The provisions of this Rule 2315 amended December 11, 1978, effective December 30, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 3802; amended January 7, 2020, effective May 1, 2020, 50 Pa.B. 535. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (400771).
This rule cited in 210 Pa. Code § 67.23 (relating to argumentstime allowed).
ORDER AND CONTENT OF ARGUMENT
Rule 2321. Order and Content of Argument.
The appellant shall open, and if permitted by the court by way of rebuttal, may conclude the argument. A person presenting argument should not read at length from briefs, records, or authorities.
Rule 2322. Cross and Separate Appeals.
A cross or separate appeal shall be argued with the initial appeal at a single argument, unless the court otherwise directs. If a case involves a cross appeal, the plaintiff or moving party in the action below shall be deemed the appellant for the purposes of these rules unless the parties otherwise agree or the court otherwise directs. If two or more parties support the same argument, care shall be taken to avoid duplication of argument. Where two or more appeals, not being cross-appeals, are heard together, each appellant shall open the argument on his appeal, each appellee shall reply thereto, and (if permitted by the court by way of rebuttal) not more than two appellants will be heard in conclusion.
Based in part on former Supreme Court Rule 31 and former Superior Court Rule 23. See Rule 2136 (briefs in cases involving cross appeals) for inclusion of designation of appellant for purposes of this chapter in notice given by the appellate prothonotary under Rule 1934 (filing of the record).
Rule 2323. Physical Exhibits.
Unless otherwise provided by an appellate courts internal operating procedures, if physical exhibits other than documents are to be used at the argument, the person presenting argument shall arrange to have them placed in the courtroom before the court convenes on the date of the argument. After the argument, the person bringing the exhibits shall cause the exhibits to be removed from the courtroom unless the court otherwise directs. If exhibits are not reclaimed by counsel within a reasonable time after notice given by the prothonotary, they shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the prothonotary shall think best.
For the internal operating procedure of the Supreme Court, see 210 Pa. Code § 63.3(D)(1)(h); for the internal operating procedure of the Superior Court, see 210 Pa. Code § 65.34(C).
The provisions of this Rule 2323 amended January 7, 2020, effective May 1, 2020, 50 Pa.B. 535; amended August 18, 2020, effective immediately, 50 Pa.B. 4385. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (400772).
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