The California Supreme Court will resume holding oral argument in person starting in November, after holding sessions remotely for more than two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Counsel appearing before the court will still have the option to appear remotely via videoconference. All justices will appear in person for oral argument, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
On March 13, 2020, the court suspended in-person oral argument due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between April 2020 and October 2022, the court conducted 28 oral argument sessions via videoconference.
“In 2020, the court was able to quickly transition to remote hearings to safely continue our work despite the unprecedented threat of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. “We look forward to returning to oral argument in person, while continuing to take proper precautions to protect court employees, counsel coming before our court, and the public.”
Starting in November, all counsel and members of the public must wear well-fitted face coverings regardless of vaccination status; counsel may remove their masks when presenting argument.
Seating in the courtroom, on the fourth floor of 350 McAllister Street in San Francisco, will be open to the public and media on a first come, first served basis. Audience seating will be limited to 35 people to achieve appropriate social distancing.
The Supreme Court will continue to live stream oral argument on its website: supreme.courts.ca.gov/. Recordings of oral argument will continue to be archived for subsequent viewing.
Read the full order here, which includes protocols governing counsel who wish to appear remotely.