General Information Regarding Oral Arguments
Oral arguments begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. and are held in the SUPREME COURT BUILDING at 201 W. 14th Street (corner of 14th & Colorado), unless otherwise noted. The Supreme Court's Courtroom is located on the First Floor. The Clerk's Office is also located on the First Floor, Room No. 104. Parking is available in the State Visitor Parking Garage at 1201 San Jacinto, across the street from the Texas State Library and Archives.
The Supreme Court normally holds oral arguments once a month on three consecutive days. On each day that oral arguments are held, the Supreme Court usually hears 3 separate cases. Each side is allotted 20 minutes to argue, for a total of 40 minutes of argument per case. There is a 10 minute recess between the arguments.
Please note all attorneys must file the Oral Argument Submission Form through the Texas.gov electronic filing system. Click here to fill out Oral Argument Submission Form
Video recordings of oral arguments are webcast through a partnership with the State Bar of Texas. You can search by year case filed, year case argued, or style.
For information about how parties may request that an argument not be webcast, please read Policies Governing Webcasting of Supreme Court Proceedings.
Recording, broadcasting, televising, or photographing of oral arguments may be done only with the permission of the Supreme Court upon written request filed with the Clerk in compliance with Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 14.
A list of causes set to be argued before the Court is posted on the Upcoming Arguments page. These schedules are posted in three-month increments in advance and represent preliminary schedules that are subject to last minute change.
Submission schedules, which list the names of the attorneys arguing the cases and the order the cases will be argued in, are posted the FRIDAY PRIOR to oral argument week. If you have an interest in attending oral argument, you can verify the date/time and order of setting by clicking on the links to the submission schedules posted on the Submission Schedules page.
Past submission schedules may be also viewed on the Submissions Schedules page.
Arguing Before the Supreme Court of Texas
Below are answers and guidance concerning some of the questions attorneys often ask about arguing cases at the Supreme Court of Texas.
When should I arrive?
Attorneys arguing cases before the Supreme Court of Texas must check in at the marshal's table next to the bench prior to the first oral argument, which begins at 9:00 a.m. The doors to the courtroom usually open at 8:30 a.m. to allow attorneys sufficient time to check in prior to the first oral argument.
Where do I sit?
Petitioners' and relators' counsel sit at the table to the left of the lectern when facing the bench. Respondents' and real parties' counsel sit at the table to the right of the lectern when facing the bench. If you are arguing the first case, you may set up at your table when you arrive. Otherwise, you may sit in the public gallery until the recess immediately prior to your argument.
How many attorneys may present argument?
Generally, only one counsel should argue for each side. Except on leave of court, no more than two counsel on each side may argue. Only one counsel may argue in rebuttal. Tex. R. App. P. 59.5.
Are there any fees associated with oral argument?
There is a $75.00 fee that is due when a petition is set for oral argument. If you would like to use exhibits at oral argument, you must pay a $25.00 fee and submit eleven hard copies of your electronically filed exhibits on 8 ½" by 11" paper to the clerk's office before 8:30AM on the day of oral argument. The clerk's office will provide the exhibits to the marshal who will place the exhibits on the bench.
May I use exhibits at oral argument?
Yes, you may use exhibits at oral argument. Exhibits must be electronically filed at least the day before the oral argument, and before the end of the business day. There is a $25.00 filing fee that will paid via the electronic filing service provider. You must provide eleven hard copies of the exhibit, on 8 ½" by 11" paper to the clerk's office before 8:30AM on the day of oral argument.
Large exhibits may be set up to the left of the lectern in the courtroom immediately prior to your argument. Please ask the marshal or the clerk for assistance. If you would like to integrate an electronic copy of your exhibit into the video webcast of the oral argument, please call the clerk at 512-463-1312.
Do you have presentation equipment?
Yes, a laptop can be plugged in at the podium and we can display the laptop contents on a monitor in the courtroom. You must notify the clerk's office at least a day in advance that you intend to use this equipment. The clerk's office can provide a laptop for oral argument use; again, please notify the clerk's office at least a day in advance.
May I practice with the presentation equipment?
Yes, please notify the clerk's office in advance so that practice arrangements can made to come in at least the day before the oral argument.
Are there any rules of decorum I should know about?
Unlike some other appellate courts, the marshal will introduce you to the court. In addition, if you are the petitioner or relator, the marshal will inform the court about how you have allotted your time (e.g. "May it please the Court, Ms. Smith will present argument for the petitioner. Petitioner has reserved five minutes for rebuttal."). You should pause before speaking to allow the marshal to make your introduction.
Also, the court uses wireless timer system. The system displays the amount of time remaining in each argument segment and illuminates a green, yellow, or red light. A display is located at the lectern and on the bench. A yellow warning light informs you when you have two minutes remaining in your argument. A red light indicates that your time has expired. When the red light comes on, you should acknowledge that your time has expired and request permission to conclude your remarks.
Be sure to turn off your cell phone or other electronic device that might make noise during the oral argument.