In T 275/89 (OJ 1992, 126) the board considered that the illness of a duly represented party was not a sufficient reason for postponing appointed oral proceedings unless the party who was ill needed to be present. A request to change an appointment could only be allowed if unforeseen, exceptional circumstances had arisen, which either made oral proceedings impossible (such as a representative's or unrepresented party's sudden illness) or could have a decisive impact on the course of the proceedings (such as unforeseen unavailability of an important witness or expert). See also T 1923/06.
In J 4/03 the Legal Board decided that the desire of the appellant to be present himself at oral proceedings did not in itself amount to a serious ground for postponing the oral proceedings, in the absence of other special circumstances. The appeal turned essentially on how the law was to be applied to facts which were not in dispute, and so the presence or absence of a party who was duly represented in the proceedings should have no impact on the course of the proceedings or the final decision.
In T 231/13 the board held that the aim of Art. 15(2) RPBA 2007 and of the 2007 Notice was to fulfil the need for procedural economy while ensuring that the party could be duly represented during the oral proceedings. Attendance of one of the inventors was not relevant for the discussion of formal and substantive points in the oral proceedings, unless special issues arose, for example, in connection with a particular technical point. See also T 1212/04.