St. Thomas Law Review

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In this paper I will examine the changing perceptions of oral argument, as well as examine and review the data provided by the Office of State Courts Administrator ("OSCA") for Florida's appellate courts. Their data summarized the dispositions of all appeals in Florida from 2011 to 2015. The dispositions are separated between those cases disposed by oral argument and those cases disposed without oral argument. From this research, we can observe whether this data comports with the changing perceptions of oral argument. If there is a divergence in views, one may attempt to determine why. Is it rooted in the age old views as represented by Justice Thomas and the late Justice Scalia? Are some judges just perceiving it as a waste of time and a drain on the scarce resource of time, as opposed to the traditional view of oral argument as the ultimate legal proving ground? Finally, why should we care about the changing perceptions of oral argument? It matters to judges and practitioners because they need to know if the perceptions confirm or contradict their own perceptions of oral argument.