The method for requesting oral argument varies in the appellate courts across New York State. Some courts require the time to be proposed on the brief covers while others require submitting a specific request form to the clerk. Regardless of the method used, however, there is always a limit as to how much time each party may request.
In the Appellate Division, First Department (hereafter AD1), an Oral Argument Request form must be submitted on behalf of all parties involved in the appeal in order to obtain argument time. Indicating on the cover that you will be arguing the case is insufficient. Your appeal will be scheduled for submission if the form is not filed in a timely manner1.
Pursuant to 600.11(f) of the rules of the First Department, the parties should confer and agree on the amount of time that will be requested for all parties; bearing in mind that a combined total of no more than 30 minutes is allowed for all the parties. If more than 30 minutes is necessary to give each party the opportunity to argue its point, a letter of explanation must be submitted to AD1. The Appellant usually files the Oral Argument Request form, but there is no rule prohibiting the Respondent from doing so.
In the Appellate Division, Second, Third and Fourth Departments, the responsibility for requesting argument time falls on each individual party filing a brief with the Court. The brief covers must contain the amount of time being requested. As with AD1, no more than a total of 30 minutes is allowed for argument time. The only exception is in the Third Department when the appeal is taken: (a) from a judgment; (b) in an action on submitted facts; or (c) in a special proceeding transferred or instituted in the Third Department. In these instances, each party is permitted 30 minutes of argument time. The Court of Appeals of the State of New York also allows 30 minutes per side for arguing.
In all New York State appellate courts, no more than one attorney is heard for each brief filed unless the Court grants permission (upon application prior to the argument date) allowing more than one attorney to argue. Moreover, if no time is requested, even if the cover reflects to be argued by, no time will be granted and the appeal will be decided exclusively on the filed documents.
1 It should be noted that the last day to file the Oral Argument Request form in AD1 is typically the day after the Respondent Brief deadline within the Term for which the appeal is being calendared.