Procedure and Guidelines

Appeals to the Supreme Court from the Board of Tax Appeals are regularly referred to the Master Commissioner for oral argument pursuant to S.Ct.Prac. R. 17.07.  Under this procedure, the parties present their oral argument to the Master Commissioner rather than directly to the Justices of the court.

Although the Master Commissioner hears the argument in such cases, it is the Justices who decide the case in conference, and their decision is made based upon the briefs, the record, and the additional analysis furnished to the court by the Master Commissioner.

In general, litigants who argue before the Master Commissioner should read and follow the guidelines set forth in the Guide for Counsel Presenting Oral Arguments Before the Supreme Court, which is available on the Supreme Court’s website.  Argument is restricted to 15 minutes per side; the timer indicates two minutes remaining with a white light and the red light indicates that time has expired.  The appellant may reserve time for rebuttal if circumstances allow.  Counsel are also requested to observe the following:

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