I attended oral arguments at the Supreme Court of Virginia this afternoon. The Falls Church Anglican's petition was first on the docket in the main courtroom, and they actually began a few minutes early, presumably to facilitate reshuffling of panels due to recusals.Thanks Jeff. H. Stay tuned for updates!
The panel hearing the petition consisted of Chief Justice Kinser, Justice Millette, and Justice Powell.
Steffen Johnson, who argued on behalf of the CANA congregations in the prior appeal, presented 10 minutes of oral argument. No questions were asked. At the end of his argument, Chief Justice Kinser said, "I believe we understand your position," and called a brief recess.
Counsel for the Diocese of Virginia were present; not sure about counsel for TEC.
In terms of what happens next, I'll quote one of Virginia's leading appellate lawyers, who notes:
"Unless you work in downtown Richmond, the writ panel will probably decide whether to grant your petition before you get back to your office on the day of argument. The justices confer the same day and decide which petitions they’ll grant and which they’ll refuse. The ensuing delay between the argument date and the date on which the decision arrives in your inbox is a function of the time it takes to process the paperwork, combined with dumb luck. I usually tell lawyers to expect a decision somewhere between three days and four weeks after the argument."
Today the attorneys for The Falls Church Anglican go before the Virginia Supreme Court to make their argument on why their the petition for appeal of Judge Bellow's Circuit Court ruling last January should be granted. Anglican Curmudgeon wrote of the case last month:
Today, the Supreme Court of Virginia informed the parties that it would hear a brief oral argument on October 16, beginning at 1 p.m., on the petition filed by The Falls Church to review the judgment entered against it in Fairfax County Circuit Court. In Virginia, appeals from civil judgments are not a matter of right. Only the Supreme Court hears civil appeals, and it has discretion to refuse review. The purpose of the brief argument is to give the appellant's attorneys an opportunity to emphasize to the Court's writ panel (which will consist of just three of the Court's seven justices) the reasons why it should accept the case for review.
You can read more of his commentary here.