Instructions for Remote Oral Arguments

Information about Zoom

If you have not used Zoom, you can visit Zoom’s Video tutorial to learn more about how to join a meeting.

To use Zoom on your computer, cellphone, or tablet, you will need to install an app or use a web browser.

Zoom Call (App)

If you chose to download the app, you can find it in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store on your device. You can also find links to download at the Zoom Download Center. You will need the Zoom app on your cellphone or tablet to connect.

If you connect with a computer, you will be prompted to install a browser plug-in.  After the installation, you do not need to do anything further to join a meeting. You do not need to create a Zoom account to participate in the oral argument hearing.

Zoom via Web Browser

You do not need to install the app in order to use Zoom, however, it is recommended. If you chose not to install the app, the Zoom link should send you to a web browser and you should be able to participate via the web browser by clicking “join on web browser.” This will prompt you to then enter the meeting ID number and password that the Court provided for the meeting and wait for it to start. You do not need to create a Zoom account to participate in the oral argument hearing.

What you should expect

Approximately One Week before the Hearing Date

You will receive an email from the Court with an embedded link for you to join the oral argument. If you have not received an email with the Zoom meeting information five days before your scheduled hearing, please contact the Court.

Day of Hearing

Please join the meeting at 8:30 A.M. To do so, tap the link provided in the email. If using the app, you will be asked “Open this page in “Zoom?” You should select “Open” or click the “Launch Meeting” icon. If accessing Zoom through the Web browser, click “join in web browser.”

Once Zoom opens, you will be asked whether to “Join with Video” or “Join without Video” – select “Join with Video.” You will then be connected to the meeting and asked another question about joining audio. You should select “Call Using Internet Audio” or “Call Using Computer Audio”, which means that you will hear audio and see video through your device rather than calling a phone number to hear audio. You will now be connected and held in the virtual waiting room. Please rename your participant’s box with either appellant or appellee, followed by your name in parentheses. If you have issues changing your name in Zoom, please alert Court staff during the check-in process and they can assist you.

Court staff will greet you and bring you into the meeting to check you in and ensure your equipment is working properly. You will then be returned to the waiting room until your case is called.

When your case is called

Court staff will bring you into the virtual meeting when your case is called and the judges are ready to proceed.

Reminder: All persons presenting an argument must provide the Court’s staff with their best contact telephone number to reach them if any technical issues arise during the hearing.

Protocol and Decorum

All persons participating in oral argument must conduct themselves as if the Zoom argument were an in-person hearing before the Court. Please note you are not required to stand during arguments.

Non-Participants Observing the Oral Argument Hearing

If you want to observe an oral argument, but will not be arguing, please watch arguments on the Court’s YouTube page.  You can link to the live stream on the Court’s website by clicking on the Oral Argument tab and then clicking the link for the YouTube page.

Please be aware that once the proceeding begins, the meeting will be locked and latecomers will be precluded from the joining the hearing.

Technical Difficulties

If you experience technical difficulties with your internet/device that preclude you from joining the oral argument via videoconferencing, please join the hearing by telephone. Again, the dial-in number and Meeting ID is provided as part of the Zoom invite to the hearing. On the dial-in option, the Court will be able to hear, however you will not be able seen or be able to see anyone on the Zoom call.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What time do I have to appear on Zoom?
A: Please login to the Zoom meeting by 8:30 a.m. to check-in and test your audio and video with the Court.

Q:  Can I have someone with me when I appear on Zoom?
A: Only the attorney or party arguing may appear on Zoom. You may have someone with you during the argument, but they cannot be visible or talk during the Zoom meeting.

Q:  What if I don’t have a computer or phone, where can I go to do my Zoom call?
A: The Court  provides space and equipment to use for presenting Zoom arguments. If you would like to use the Court equipment, please call the court five days before your argument date to reserve the equipment. To contact the Court, call (513) 946-3500. On the day of argument, please arrive at the Court by 8:15 a.m. The Court is located on the 12th floor at the Taft Law Center, 230 E. Ninth St., Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

Q: How many minutes do I get to speak with the three-judge panel?
A: Parties receive a total of 15 minutes to make their arguments. If you are the appellant, you may reserve a portion of your 15 minutes (usually around 3 to 5 minutes) to respond after the Appellee’s argument.