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Remote Hearings And Trials – They Are Here. Are The Courts Ready?


NCSC Guidelines For Remote Hearings. I remember, in the Eighties and Nineties, I realized the impact that technology would make on lawyering, wondering when I would be able to sit at my desk in the office, and conduct hearings with the Court online. Every time I got into my car, drove to the courthouse, found the Judge’s office, sat in a waiting room for an hour, spent 5 to 15 minutes in a hearing about some minutiae connected with the case, and then drove home, often in Florida humidity and summer heat, wearing a starched collared shirt, and a hot suit jacket, I thought about the waste of time and energy. While I never would have wished it, the Pandemic accelerated the process, and short hearings and some trials are now being conducted entirely online. Even in person trials now often have a hybrid mix of online and in person components. When video technology advanced enough, many depositions conducted in remote locations were played back in courtrooms. We are truly in a hybrid environment today, and the National Center for the State Courts has published a monograph that every lawyer, court administrator, judge and person interested in remote hearing and trial technology should read. The technology can be impossible to navigate for disabled individuals, and it is incumbent upon the court system to provide an even playing field for all participants. As an example, I am now a Remote Notary, and can conduct online notarization with the assistance of technology and the Internet. The structure and platform is provided by Notaryfix.com; but, there are many providers out there. But, if a person doesn’t have access to a computer, camera, and adequate broad band Internet, or is too frail, elderly, or otherwise compromised to use it, the tech is useless. All members of the legal system should be helping to solve the problem of access. Read the monograph as a start. Remotetoolkit


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