If you have a case pending before the North Carolina Supreme Court and haven’t yet received an oral argument notice, your case likely won’t be argued until the fall.

The North Carolina Supreme Court does not have an established formula for when it hears arguments. In past years, the Court has often held the first arguments of a term in late August and the last arguments in mid-May. But the schedule is fluid, with the Court sometimes convening during the summer for urgent matters or compressing multiple argument weeks to free up time elsewhere. For instance, in 2022 the Court had a busy spring, sitting multiple weeks in February, March, and May, then had a somewhat lighter fall schedule, shutting down for the calendar year in October. In 2021, in contrast, the Court spread arguments throughout the year, sitting every month but July.

That brings us to the 2023-24 term. The Court is fairly well caught up. This term, multiple cases have been calendared for argument before the reply brief was even filed. And the Court is giving parties lots of advance notice, publishing calendars months in advance.

Perhaps for those reasons, it looks like the Court will not be sitting in May or August this year. The current calendar page shows arguments being held through April 18, with a break to follow until September 17.

Of course, the Court can construct its calendar however it pleases, and all of this is subject to change. But we’ll be telling a few of our clients that the second half of September is a reasonably safe bet for their cases to be heard.