Maryland's Highest Court Returns to In-Person Oral Arguments. Why?

Maryland's highest court, The Court of  Appeals, has ordained a return to in-person oral arguments. Lawyers may request leave to argue remotely and are not required to advance a reason why. Stringent requirements will be in effect including covid vaccination confirmation, answering a health questionaire and for unvaccinated attorneys, a negative covid test within 3 days of the argument.

The public is barred from attending although oral arguments can be viewed on the court's website. Typical sanitization procedures will take place to reduce the risk of covid transmission between arguments.

Chief Judge Getty indicated that the judges" get a more robust interaction when attorneys are in the courtroom" comparing in person argument to in person attendance at a professional football game. The comparison seems a little odd because as any football fan knows you can only accurately see what really happened on any given play by virtue of the many angles and views associated with television coverage.

For more on the perspective of judges on the Court of Appeals regarding in person argument go to the recent Everyday Law episodes with Judge Jonathan Biran and Michele D. Hotten. https://www.maryland-law.com/library/judge-jonathan-birans-everyday-law-interview.cfm

https://www.maryland-law.com/library/michele-hotten-on-effective-remote-appellate-persuasion.cfm

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
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