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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.885, the Appellate Division of the San Diego Superior Court (Court) will conduct oral arguments remotely. There will be no in-person oral arguments. You can attend the oral argument by video conferencing using the free Microsoft Teams App OR by telephone. Appellate Division's MS Teams Link and Conference Phone Number
Preparing for the virtual oral argument
Days before the oral argument, download the free MS Teams App on your mobile device or computer. See instructions below for how to set up your device or computer with MS Teams to join by video conference.
From your device or computer, refer to the table below and click on the MS Teams link.
Join the oral argument from a room with no or minimal background noise.
Join the oral argument 30 minutes before the start time indicated in your Order setting oral argument so the courtroom clerk can check you in.
If you are unable to access the videoconference or join by phone using the teleconference option (see table below), please call the courtroom clerk at (619) 844-2051.
Tips for participants who join the MS Teams meeting (video conferencing)
Click on the MS Teams link assigned to the department that will hear your case. Refer to the instructions on setting up Teams on your device or computer if you have not done so.
MS Teams will launch and show the following screen. Fill in the Enter name field with 'First Name Last Name - Party description' (for example: 'Amy Smith - Appellant' or 'Robert Jones - Attorney for Respondent'). Click Join Now and ensure you have muted your mic before joining as pictured.
All participants will wait separately in a virtual lobby. You will see a screen indicating 'Someone in the meeting should let you in soon'. The courtroom clerk will admit each participant into the oral argument when ready to do so. Please wait patiently and do not exit the lobby if you are not immediately admitted. If you have joined the meeting early, or if the Court is delayed, the lobby may time out. If this occurs, please re-join the meeting.
After the courtroom clerk admits you into the meeting, you will hear and see the courtroom and other participants. The courtroom clerk may ask you to confirm your name and address. Please unmute your mic and enable your camera.
If a participant is experiencing poor video quality during an oral argument or cannot maintain a connection through the desktop app or web version, they can join by phone (teleconferencing option).
Tips for participants who join the oral argument by telephone (teleconferencing)
Alternatively, participants can join the oral argument by telephone by dialing the MS Teams conference number and then entering the conference ID followed by # as listed in the table below.
Muting and unmuting your phone:
Press * 6 to mute or unmute your phone, or if your phone has a mute button, you may use that instead.
The Court can also mute participants who have joined the oral argument by telephone.
Participants should not place the Court on hold, or put the phone on speakerphone, as this will decrease audio quality.
+1 619-614-4567 United States, San Diego (Toll)
Conference ID: 454 010 260#
IMPORTANT: Please be advised that the MS Teams Links may change. Please check and refer to this page on the date of your oral argument to ensure that you are using the most current department conference link or telephone conference ID number.
Procedures During the Oral Argument
At the beginning of a calendar being called, the Judges will set forth guidelines for the proceedings. Listen carefully for further direction.
Oral arguments may be called out in case number order or by party names, so be sure to pay attention as the calendar is being called. You may be asked to answer “present” at the appropriate time.
All participants shall place their microphones on mute unless they are speaking or wish to make an objection.
All efforts shall be undertaken not to interrupt other speakers during the oral argument unless it is necessary to assert an objection. Please do not interrupt when another party or the judge is speaking.
If an interpreter is necessary, all participants shall speak slowly, in short, complete sentences or questions, and allow time for translation. No one shall respond to a question posed by another participant until the question has been translated.
If an objection is made, all participants must stop speaking and wait for the Court’s ruling on the objection. An attorney or self-represented party can ask to be heard on the objection after it is made. The Court may also request a response to an objection.
All participants are required to identify anyone who may be observing or listening in on the proceedings with them. This is essential to ensure the procedural integrity of argument.
Any written waivers of oral argument should be submitted and received by the Court at least two (2) Court days before your scheduled oral argument.
Limit oral arguments to the time permitted by the applicable Rules of Court (10 minutes per side for misdemeanor and limited civil appeals; 5 minutes per side for infraction appeals). Thus, participants are encouraged to not repeat arguments included in their briefs previously submitted to the Court.
Following oral argument, or if oral argument is waived, the matter will be submitted for decision. Once submitted, the Court will make a ruling or send you a written decision. No further argument can be considered unless ordered by the Court.
Participants MAY NOT record the video conference. ADVISORY: This virtual oral argument MUST NOT be photographed, recorded (audio or video). Please be advised that any unauthorized recording, photography, or rebroadcast without prior written judicial authorization may be a basis for a citation for contempt of court or an order imposing monetary or other sanctions as provided by law. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 1.150(h).)
Guidelines for Participants
For the purpose of these guidelines, a participant includes a party or their attorney.
This information is provided as guidance. The conduct of the oral argument remains a matter for the presiding judge. Participants should follow any direction given by the appellate panel judges.
The behavior, manner, and presentation of a participant should be the same as if they were attending the oral argument in person. This includes addressing the Judges correctly as “Your Honor” and addressing the opposing party or attorney and the Clerk politely and courteously.
The participant will ensure that there will be no interruptions or distractions for the duration of their appearance at the oral argument.
Participants should have a copy of the record on appeal and all briefs and other documents available for reference during the oral argument.
If joining the oral argument using video, participants are not permitted to use or access their phones during the oral argument except to communicate with their attorney of record as permitted by the judge.
Safety in virtual oral arguments
Litigants should be mindful of their personal safety when participating in virtual oral arguments, including by considering the following:
If joining the oral argument using video, consider turning on background blur, or sitting in front of a neutral background such as a blank wall, window blinds or door.
If there are safety concerns about appearing with video turned on, the Judge may permit litigants to participate in the oral argument using only audio.
If joining the oral argument by telephone, participants may switch caller ID off before dialing the conference number. If the caller ID is on, participants should be aware that their phone number will be displayed in the MS Teams meeting to others participating using the desktop app, web browser version, or smartphone app (but will not be visible to other participants also dialing in on the telephone). Switching caller ID off means that only a random 9-digit number will be shown.
Be sure to set aside time to participate in the oral argument distraction-free and without children present.
Use a headset or headphones that have a microphone (such as most headphones that come with smartphones) to avoid echo and increase audio quality. Ensure you select the headphones in the settings for ‘Devices’ as the microphone and speaker. If you have the volume turned up and audio coming through the speakers of your device, it may be picked up by your microphone and create an echo. If other participants are complaining of echo and you cannot hear any echo, it is likely that you are the cause.
Ensure you are in a quiet, distraction-free location with good lighting and minimal background noise.
Participants should have their microphone muted, and cameras switched off when they are not speaking or not required to be seen, as directed by the Judge.
If appearing by telephone, do not place the Court on hold. Speak directly into the phone or headset. Do not place the phone on speakerphone, as it will decrease audio quality.
Ensure devices are fully charged before the oral argument and have chargers nearby. Videoconferencing can drain the battery of devices.
We recognize that these are new procedures and challenging times for everyone. We are here to help and do our best to make sure your case is timely heard. With practice and patience, we will all become more proficient with the new technologies and platforms. Thank you.