Are civil cases granted oral argument more frequently than criminal cases?

When I shared the data I collected on the percent of cases receiving oral argument at the Court of Appeals of North Carolina, some lawyers suggested that I look at the percent of cases receiving oral argument by type of case.  They believed that civil cases were granted oral argument more frequently than criminal cases.  They were correct!  

I categorized the appeals that appeared on the public calendar (the calendar posted on the Court of Appeals website) in 2015 and 2016 as civil or criminal.  Then I calculated what percentage of civil cases were granted oral argument and what percentage of criminal cases were granted oral argument.   

As the charts and tables show, in both 2015 and 2016 only 8% of criminal cases were granted oral argument.  By comparison, 18% of civil cases were granted oral argument in 2015 and 14% of civil cases were granted oral argument in 2016. The hunch seems to be correct: a civil case is more likely to be granted oral argument than a criminal case.

2015 Criminal v. Civil Oral Argument

% 30(f)’d
% Oral Argument
Criminal
92%
8%
Civil
82%
18%
Total
86%
14%


2016 Criminal v. Civil Oral Argument

% 30(f)’d
% Oral Argument
Criminal
92%
8%
Civil
86%
14%
Total
88%
12%