If you are in a California Appellate Court, you are entitled to file a Reply Brief, but your time to do so is very limited - 20 days from the date the Respondent's Brief was filed.
Oral argument is not required. However, if the Respondent shows up and you do not, they will get a chance to convince the appellate court that their position is righteous. Keep in mind that oral argument rarely changes the outcome on appeal, but there are cases where it is critical.
Good luck to you.
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Yes, you can file an Appellant's Reply Brief, but you only have 20 days to do so.
You can waive oral argument. In fact, the Court of Appeal usually encourages waiving oral argument. However, if you wish to have oral argument, you need to provide a time estimate (number of minutes).
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I think you are looking at what is called a surreply brief---a reply to the reply. If you have already filed an Answering Brief, then you can file a surreply only with the permission of the court's presiding justice.
It may not be sound (wise or necessary) to file a Reply Brief if the point that you intend to make in your Reply is the "lies" of the other party. Appellate courts will not ordinarily make or remake determinations of credibility. The appellate court is almost certainly concerned only with errors of law by the court below.
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It is not clear from your question whether you are the appellant or the respondent.
The briefing sequence is: opening brief (by the appellant); Respondent's Brief (by the party defending the trial court's decision) and then a Reply Brief by the appellant.
When you say that the defendants submitted a "reply brief", do you mean a brief in response to your opening brief (if you are the appealing party)? In that case, you have the right to a Reply Brief, as my colleagues indicate. But if the opposing party is the appellant and they have filed a Reply Brief to your Respondent's Brief, the briefing has concluded and all that is left is the oral argument.
As for that oral argument, it provides an opportunity for you to further explain your position and, most important, to answer any questions that the Justices may have. Most experienced appellate lawyers never waive the right to appear at an oral argument; in a case where the outcome is in doubt, it can make the difference.
If you do not want to travel for the oral argument, you might attempt to retain an appellate attorney to appear for the sole purpose of arguing the case at the oral argument hearing. I have done so on occasion. See my website at www.orangecountyappeals.com
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Yes, the appellant always has the right to file a reply brief. Reply briefs are not required, but it is recommended that you file one. The time frame can be fairly short to file a reply brief. If you do not have time to prepare one, I would recommend requesting a stipulation for an extension from opposing counsel or applying to the Court of Appeal for additional time.