In recent years there has been a significant shift to virtual environments for work, study and entertainment. The judicial system has also made bold moves towards virtual hearings to maintain bio-security.
The protocols for proper conduct and attire that you would follow if you were attending a court hearing in person still apply in the virtual environment. However, virtual meetings held through platforms like Zoom offer some new and often surprising benefits and requirements.
An overview of requirements for virtual court proceedings
Many court systems have prepared protocols for virtual proceedings, such as this one provided by the 59th Judicial District Court of Elk and Cameron Counties. Let’s take a brief look at some of the requirements that one must adhere to there:
- Attire: All parties should dress for their court date with the same level of professionalism that a traditional court appearance would require.
- Camera: You must have your camera for identity confirmation purposes.
- Waiting room: When you enter the Zoom meeting, you should expect court officials to place you in a “waiting room” with other witnesses and attorneys on the docket for that time slot. You can expect the court to bring you into the virtual courtroom when it is your turn.
- Entering the virtual courtroom: Your video should be on and your microphone should be on mute when you enter the virtual courtroom.
- Passing notes: An interesting feature that the Zoom platform offers is the ability to “chat” with your lawyer using the private chat feature. You can ask your attorney a question, or your lawyer can give instructions privately this way. Clients can ask to confer with their lawyer for a moment in a private breakout room as well.
Technology has changed the ways that we live our lives and conduct our business both publicly and privately. Knowing what to expect in your case may have a positive impact on its outcome.