(Posted May 19, 2023) Last week, I posted a short note on the coming June session docket in the Supreme Court of Virginia, guessing that it would contain just five granted appeals. I was overly optimistic; the docket is out, and there are only three cases on it. The court will convene and adjourn for the summer all within an hour and a half on the morning of June 7. This will be the second session this year with fewer than five appeals.

There’s hope on the horizon, though; based on the series of grants thus far this year, it now looks like we could see five or six – maybe even seven – appeals in the September session. But that’s probably the end of the good news, as November may well be barren.

How do I know this? Well, in truth, I don’t. But today is the Supreme Court’s May writ panel session. Appeals granted in this month’s Gathering of the Robes typically fuel the November argument docket. And the lineup for today is dismayingly small – just 24 hopeful appellants will seek precious grants today. For comparison, on April 4 the justices heard writ arguments in 36 cases and granted just one writ.

For those of you in the appellate guild, we are not in a growth industry these days. Let’s hope for a brighter 2024. It seems a little early to be looking to next year already, but that’s what we have to work with.