Oral Argument Schedule
The majority of cases before the Montana Supreme Court are decided based upon the written briefs submitted by the parties. However, the Court may decide that a case requires further discussion, in addition to what the parties have argued in their written briefs. In such cases, oral arguments are scheduled in open session before the Court. Approximately 30 cases a year are scheduled for oral argument.
Oral arguments are tightly structured and timed. The counsel for each party is allowed limited time to make an argument. The times typically range from 20 to 40 minutes and are set forth by the Court in the order setting oral argument.
While this format allows the counsel brief opportunity to further develop their arguments, it also gives the Court an opportunity to ask questions of the attorneys on points which the Court needs clarification.
A majority of oral arguments take place in the Montana Supreme Court Courtroom, located at 215 N. Sanders, Helena, Montana. The Court does schedule a few arguments to be heard in different cities around the State.
All of the oral arguments are open to the public.
--OP 16-0555 ATLANTIC RICHFIELD COMPANY, Petitioner, v. MONTANA SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, SILVER BOW COUNTY, THE HON. KATHERINE M. BIDEGARAY, Respondent, Oral Argument is set for Friday, April 7, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. at the George Dennison Theater, University of Montana, Missoula,
Montana, with an introduction to the oral argument beginning at 9:00 a.m.