The NCBA’s Appellate Rules Committee recently updated its oral argument guides. 

The only real substantive change to note in the comparison chart is that counsel can now take electronic devices like laptops and phones into the Fourth Circuit courthouse.  However, these electronic devices must remain in the off position while in the courtrooms.  This change was instituted because previously counsel who checked out of  hotels the morning of oral arguments had to leave their valuable electronic devices outside of the courthouse or ask the security guards to hold them.   It should go without saying that “woe be unto you and your iDevice” if you forget to turn it off and it makes a noise during oral argument.  

Remember to print the latest versions of the guides and comparison chart when you prepare for your next oral argument.  Updated links can be found on this blog’s Rules and Practice Guides page.

–Beth Scherer