U.S. 5th Circuit announcement on June 29 – July 2 arguments

Passing by the U.S. Fifth Circuit’s web site, I spotted this announcement:

The Court will not conduct in person arguments for the week of June 29 – July 2, 2020, and the Clerk’s Office will advise counsel how panels will handle their cases. Updated calendars will be posted at If panels use video and/or audio conferences as permitted by General Order 3 COVID-19, a News Item will be posted before argument with links to the audio feed.

U.S. Fifth Circuit cancels in-person oral arguments for June 1–4

This morning, this announcement appeared on the U.S. Fifth Circuit’s home page:

June Oral Arguments

The Court has canceled in person oral arguments scheduled for June 1-4, 2020. The Clerk’s Office will advise counsel in the pending cases of how their case will be handled. The Court approved the use of video and/or audio conferences in General Order 3 COVID-19. Limited public access to live audio will be available in both instances. The court calendars will be updated accordingly and will continue to be revised as necessary -

U.S. Fifth Circuit offering live audio feed of oral arguments

Today I spotted this announcement on the U.S. Fifth Circuit’s home page:

Oral Argument Public Access

Members of the bar and the public may listen to a “live” audio feed from the oral argument proceedings being held April 27-30. See “Public Access Document” linked below for call in number and access codes. Access is limited to 100 participants at a time. The audio recordings will also be posted as usual the day argument on the oral argument recordings page:

To read the “Public Access Document” with the call-in instructions, follow this link.

U.S. Fifth Circuit authorizes remote oral argument

The U.S. Fifth Circuit has issued an order authorizing panels to hold oral arguments by video or audio conference. See Order, Gen. Docket No. 2020-5 (Apr. 20, 2020). This authorization applies to both regularly scheduled oral-argument panels and special hearings. According to ¶ 2 of the order, “The court will, when feasible, provide real-time public access to the audio-only portion of oral arguments that are conducted using video-conferencing technology or by means of audioconferencing.” Consistent with its no-photos rule, the order prohibits “the recording or transmission of visual images of oral argument or creating a photographic image from video of oral argument ....” To download a copy of this order, follow this link.

In announcing this order, the court’s web site says, “The Clerk’s Office will advise counsel in the pending cases of how their case will be handled.  The court calendars will be updated accordingly and will continue to be revised as necessary.”

This order continues the court’s prior orders responding to the COVID-19 emergency. For your convenience, links to those orders are below.

Oral arguments cancelled and filing by mail suspended at U.S. 5th Circuit

Two days ago, oral arguments at the U.S. Fifth Circuit scheduled for April 27–30 were still a go. Today, they became a no-go with this announcement on the court’s home page:

The Court previously canceled in person oral arguments for March 30-April 2, 2020. Additionally, the Court has canceled in person oral arguments scheduled for April 27-30, 2020. When the Court determines how to proceed in these cases, the Clerk’s Office will advise counsel. 

This announcement follows an order signed yesterday by Chief Judge Owen. Besides cancelling the April 27–30 oral arguments, the order suspends the mail operations of the clerk’s office until further notice. The order gives a 30-day extension to hose affected by the suspension: pro se litigants (including prisoners) who are unable to file electronically. To download a PDF copy of the order, follow this  link.

Today’s order updates the court’s order of March 18, which remains in effect as updated today. You can download the March 18 order by following this link.

U.S. 5th Circuit announcement about upcoming oral arguments

The U.S. Fifth Circuit’s home page has this new announcement:

The oral arguments for next week remain cancelled. At this time, the oral arguments scheduled for April 27 to April 30 will continue as scheduled. Counsel will be notified if the court determines it necessary to make alternate arrangements for the submission of those cases to the three-judge panels.

U.S. 5th Circuit general order

The U.S. Fifth Circuit has posted a general order responding to the COVID-19 emergency. To download a copy, follow this link. Here are the highlights:

  • The order confirms cancellation of in-person oral arguments that were set for March 30 to April 2, 2020 in New Orleans.
  • The John Minor Wisdom Courthouse (housing the U.S. Fifth Circuit) is closed until further notice.
  • The clerk's office remains open for telephone, electronic, and mail operations.
  • If you need to make a paper filing, call the clerk's office at (504) 310-7637 to coordinate delivery at the ground floor of the Hebert Building (housing the clerk’s office).
  • The requirement to file paper copies is suspended until further notice. The clerk may require paper copies on a case-by-case basis.
  • All current deadlines remain in effect except for those requiring paper copies. (This is in contrast to the Louisiana courts of appeal that have suspended deadlines following the governor’s executive order.)
  • The court intends to schedule oral arguments for April 27 through April 30.

U.S. 5th Circuit response to COVID-19

The U.S. Fifth Circuit has this announcement on its home page:

In light of the many developments over the last few days concerning the COVID-19 virus, the Court has cancelled in-person oral arguments scheduled for March 30 – April 2, 2020. Clerk’s Office staff will personally contact counsel and discuss individual cases, including possible telephonic argument for cases the panels determine require argument. The public is advised that if telephonic argument is held, the court will promptly post the audio files on this website.

The John Minor Wisdom Building is closed to the public, beginning Monday, March 16, continuing until further notice. The Clerk’s Office will remain open, but the public will not be permitted to access the Clerk’s Office second floor reception area. If a paper filing is required, a clerk employee will accept delivery at the ground floor entrance to the Hebert Building. We will advise the public of any changes to current rules regarding the filling of paper copies of pleadings.