Twice in the last month, the U.S. Supreme Court has thrown a last-minute wrench into planned oral arguments, causing lawyers to scramble to answer unanticipated questions from the justices as they prepare to make their case.

In the latest instance, the court on Nov. 4 postponed arguments set for Nov. 9 in Kingdomware Technologies v. United States, ordering the parties to file briefs on whether the case is moot. Neither party had raised the possibility of mootness in previous briefing in the case, which involves federal contracts awarded to companies owned by disabled veterans.

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