§ 2-111. Scheduling, argument, and submission.

§ 2-111. Scheduling, argument, and submission.

   (A) General. Cases are eligible for submission at any time after the appellee's brief has been filed. This rule sets out the methods of scheduling cases for submission, the various submission methods, and rules relating to oral argument.

   (B) Methods of Submission on the Merits.

   (1)(a) The court may order the submission of any case without oral argument. Cases to be submitted without argument may be submitted at any time after the time for filing the appellant's reply brief has expired. The Clerk will notify parties when the order that the case be submitted without argument is entered.

   (b) A party may file a motion requesting oral argument upon notice of the court's order that a case is submitted without oral argument. The motion shall be filed within 7 days after the date of the minute entry submitting the case without oral argument and shall state the reasons for the request. The nonmoving party shall have 7 days after the filing of the motion to respond, at which time the motion shall be submitted to the court for consideration. The granting of the motion shall be at the court's discretion.

   (2) Cases which are advanced are scheduled for oral argument as soon as the appellee's brief is due to be filed. The following categories of cases will be advanced without motion:

   (a) Criminal cases;

   (b) Workers' compensation cases;

   (c) Unemployment compensation cases;

   (d) Questions certified by other courts;

   (e) Original actions;

   (f) Appeals involving custody of minor children;

   (g) Appeals within original concurrent jurisdiction of the court;

   (h) Appeals from the Tax Equalization and Review Commission; 

   (i) Appeals from the Department of Natural Resources; 

   (j) Appeals involving guardianship and/or conservatorship; and

   (k) All juvenile cases, including orders granting or denying juvenile transfers.

   (3) In all other cases, either party may file a motion with the court requesting that the case be advanced for argument. A party seeking an advancement of oral argument shall file a showing in support of said motion setting out the reasons said case should be advanced for oral argument. To ensure proper scheduling, attorneys are requested to notify the Clerk in writing if the case should be advanced and advancement is not obvious.

   (4) Cases which are not advanced are scheduled in the order in which the briefs of the appellee are filed, not in the order in which the cases were docketed. Nonadvanced cases are scheduled in the argument slots remaining after scheduling advanced cases.

   (C) Proposed Call. The proposed call is a list of cases ready for argument and likely to be scheduled for argument during the argument session shown. All advanced cases will be scheduled unless continued, and most nonadvanced cases are scheduled. The proposed call is prepared to allow attorneys to set aside time on their schedules for argument.

   (1) Continuance. Cases on the proposed call may not be continued unless leave is granted by the court. A party may file a motion to continue oral argument, which must be accompanied by a showing of exceptional cause. See § 2-106 for format of the motion.

   (2) Conflicts. If a party has a conflict on a date listed on the proposed call, the party shall file a notice of conflict and serve all parties. Conflict notice must be received by the date listed on the proposed call and will be strictly enforced. If a party cannot argue at any time during the session, a stipulation or motion to continue as provided in § 2-111(C)(1) shall be filed.

   (D) Call. The call is the final schedule of oral arguments for a specified session of the court. Cases are heard in the order listed. Cases will not be continued to another session of the court after scheduling on the call unless leave is granted by the court. A party may file a motion to continue oral argument, which must be accompanied by a showing of exceptional cause. See § 2-106 for the format of the motion.

   (E) Oral Argument. The Supreme Court and Court of Appeals will hear oral argument as scheduled.

   (1) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, oral argument shall not exceed 10 minutes per side in any civil or criminal case; provided, however, that where a criminal defendant has been convicted of first or second degree murder and the case at issue is a direct appeal from such conviction, oral argument shall not exceed 20 minutes per side.

   (2) On the court's own motion or on motion by a party, additional time may be granted. A motion, in the format prescribed by § 2-106, must be filed within 10 days after the proposed call is issued. Such motion must be accompanied by a showing of good cause.

   (3) The court may further limit oral argument in any case. In such event, the Clerk shall notify the parties of the time limit at the time the order is entered.

   (4) No party will be permitted oral argument unless he or she has a brief on file. An amicus curiae may, with the consent of a party, request leave to present oral argument on the side of that party within the time allowed to that party for argument.

   (5) Except where the penalty prescribed by law is life imprisonment or death, or unless ordered by the court, no oral argument is allowed in any criminal case:

   (a) Where the accused entered a plea of guilty or no contest; or

   (b) Where the sole allegation of error is that the sentence imposed was excessive or excessively lenient or the trial court refused to reduce the sentence upon application of the defendant.

   (c) Where the penalty prescribed by law is life imprisonment or death, and § 2-111(E)(5)(a) and/or (b) applies, oral argument shall not exceed 10 minutes per side unless otherwise ordered by the court.

   (6) Unless otherwise directed by the court, the parties may elect to waive oral argument and submit a case solely on the briefs. Such notice to waive oral agrument shall be filed with the Clerk.

   (7) On the motion of any party or on the court’s own motion, the court may allow oral arguments to be held by telephonic or video conferencing methods, or by a combination of telephonic or video conferencing methods and in-person appearances. The Clerk shall notify parties of any allowance for telephonic or video conferencing appearance at arguments and provide information as to submitting requests for parties to appear by such alternate method. In such instances, the court may allow a party to appear by an alternate method without regard to the form of appearance by any other party.

   (8) Courtroom decorum.

   (a) Attorneys or self-represented litigants shall be present in the courtroom and prepared to proceed at the hour set for argument by the court. Unjustified failure to appear may subject the case to dismissal or disciplinary action to the attorneys concerned.

   (b) All persons entering the courtroom shall be seated immediately and shall conduct themselves in a quiet and orderly manner. No person shall eat, drink beverages, or engage in other distracting conduct in the courtroom while court is in session.

   (c) No person shall possess any firearm or other dangerous weapon in the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals courtrooms without the permission of the court. Upon order of the court, any person may be subjected to a search of his or her person and possessions for any weapons, destructive device, or components thereof.

   (F) Court of Appeals Oral Argument. Except in exigent circumstances, the Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in panels of three judges, as scheduled, in the Court of Appeals courtroom located in the State Capitol Building, or at other locations throughout the state as designated by the Chief Judge. Whenever any member of a panel is not able to be present at the scheduled oral argument of a case, the case shall be deemed submitted to that member on the record and briefs. If a member of a panel is unable for any reason to participate after the case is submitted for decision, the Chief Judge shall appoint a substitute judge from the Court of Appeals or, at the request of the Chief Judge, the Chief Justice may call an active or retired district court judge to serve as a substitute judge, and the case shall be deemed submitted to the new member on the record and briefs. The rules relating to oral argument shall be the same as provided in § 2-111(E), except as may be modified by the Court of Appeals.

   (G) Bankruptcy. In a pending civil action before the appellate court, involving a party named as a debtor in a bankruptcy petition:

   (1) The party named as such debtor in bankruptcy, or any other party to the pending civil action having knowledge of bankruptcy proceedings involving another party to the action pending before the appellate court, shall, as soon as reasonably possible, notify the Clerk concerning the proceedings in bankruptcy. The Clerk will attempt to confirm the existence of such bankruptcy proceedings. On confirmed existence of such bankruptcy proceedings, the proceedings in the appellate court involving such named debtor in bankruptcy shall be suspended immediately. The Clerk shall notify the parties that the action has been suspended. An action so suspended shall be removed from the active docket of the appellate court and shall remain suspended until order of the court restoring the action to the active docket of the court. If the Clerk is unable to confirm existence of the alleged proceeding in bankruptcy, the parties shall be so informed, and compliance with § 2-111(G)(2) is then required.

   (2) If the Clerk is unable to confirm the existence of a bankruptcy proceeding, as provided in § 2-111(G)(1), the party named as a debtor in a bankruptcy petition, or any party to the action having knowledge of the bankruptcy proceedings involving another party to an action pending before the appellate court, shall file with the Clerk a suggestion of bankruptcy and either a certified copy of the bankruptcy petition or a copy of the caption sheet of the bankruptcy petition showing the case number, the names of the parties, and the filing stamp affixed by the clerk of the bankruptcy court.

   (3) An action before the appellate court which involves a party as a named debtor in a bankruptcy petition shall remain suspended as the result of the automatic stay imposed by 11 U.S.C. § 362 (1982) until some party shows that relief from the automatic stay has been granted. A showing regarding relief from the automatic stay shall include a detailed order, signed by the bankruptcy judge, which shall outline the relief granted by the bankruptcy court and shall state that the action, involving a subject matter otherwise within the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court, may be prosecuted in the courts of the State of Nebraska. Such showing in the appellate court shall be made by motion under § 2-106.

   (4) If a debtor in bankruptcy is a party to a proposed compromise involving an appeal in the appellate court, any party to such compromise shall provide the appellate court with a certified copy of the bankruptcy judge's approval of the compromise, which order of approval shall state that the procedures of Fed. Bankr. R. 2002(a)(3) have been satisfied. After proof of such approval by the bankruptcy court, the appellate court may take appropriate action regarding the matter which is the subject of the compromise involving the debtor in bankruptcy as a party to an action pending in the appellate court.

Rule 11(E) and (F) amended May 28, 1992; Rule 11(F) amended March 31, 1999; Rule 11(B)(2)(i) amended May 17, 2000; Rule 11(B)(2) and (3), (E)(1), (5), and (5)(a) amended March 16, 2005; Rule 11(E)(5)(c) adopted March 16, 2005; Rule 11(B)(2)(j) amended November 22, 2006. Renumbered and codified as § 2-111, effective July 18, 2008; § 2-111(B)(1) amended November 19, 2008; § 2-111(B)(1) amended March 26, 2014; § 2-111(B)(2) amended October 22, 2014; § 2-111(B)(2) amended August 4, 2017, effective August 24, 2017; § 2-111(E)(7)-(8) adopted May 12, 2021; § 2-111 amended June 9, 2021, effective January 1, 2022; § 2-111(B)(2) amended November 17, 2021, effective January 1, 2022; § 2-111(E)(7) amended December 7, 2022.