Tentative Oral Opinions: Improving Oral Argument Without Spending a Dime
Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Spring 2013)
24 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 13, 2013
This article explores use of the tentative opinion, two types of which were pioneered by California appellate courts. In 1990, the Second Division of California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal (which sits in Riverside) began disseminating written draft opinions in advance of oral argument. The measure received acclaim from appellate advocates, but did not beget imitation by other courts. In late 2011, however, an appellate court in Los Angeles (the Eighth Division of the Second District) began issuing tentative opinions orally at the beginning of argument. This approach, referred to here as the “oral tentative,” represents an attractive alternative to the written version, which has failed to catch on in other courts.
Keywords: appellate procedure, appeals, tentative opinions, oral argument
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation