The Justices sit for four days during the first full week of each month from September through May. Approximately 25 cases are considered each month. Sessions begin promptly at nine o'clock a.m. Oral arguments are public proceedings. All arguments are webcast and are archived for later public viewing.
The Clerk sends notice to cases that are fully briefed and ready about two months before oral argument. From the cases in which counsel will be available on the proposed dates, the Clerk selects the cases that will be heard. The Clerk then orders those cases on the list; once a case has been ordered on a list, it cannot be removed except upon motion.
The appellant argues first, but see Rule 27.1(g) of the Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure. Each side argues for fifteen minutes, with time divided as counsel agree (more than two attorneys arguing per side is not favored). No rebuttal time is allowed.
Citation to supplemental authorities after argument is governed by Rule 16(l).
Any party who has filed a brief may argue before the Justices, with the exception of incarcerated prisoners. The Supreme Judicial Court does not conduct telephonic arguments.
Any party may waive argument and submit on brief.
Most cases will be decided within 130 days of oral argument.
At 8 a.m. on the day of decision, the names of the cases to be released will be available online, and the full text of the opinion will be available at 10 a.m.
See generally, the Clerk's Guide for Counsel and Self-Represented Litigants .