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Federal Circuit to Hold Arguments by Phone as Virus Spreads

Dec. 27, 2021, 4:26 PM

The Federal Circuit will hold hearings from its January argument session by phone, as the more transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus sweeps the country.

The court clerk will individually notify attorneys scheduled for the January session and provide further instructions, according to an announcement from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The seven-day moving average for new Covid-19 cases is over 176,000, up approximately 141% from early November, according to federal estimates. The climbing infection rate has led some federal courts to take additional precautions.

The Federal Circuit announced in June that judges and attorneys would return to the courtroom at the end of August after holding arguments by telephone since April 2020. Last week, the court said everyone attending oral arguments would have to present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test that had to be taken after any commercial travel to Washington.

—With assistance from Perry Cooper.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Bultman in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Renee Schoof at