Brief Overview of Virtual Hearing Procedures during COVID-19
All parties involved are sent a link to join a secure Zoom conference which is where the hearing will take place. Each party has an opportunity to speak and it operates similar to an ordinary in-person hearing. Witnesses are placed into a virtual holding room where they will be conferenced in when it is time for their testimony. Different counties have slightly different operating guidelines.
Exhibits can be offered into evidence through the Share Screen feature. The Share Screen feature enables all hearing participants to see the screen of the attorney offering the exhibit. Having copies of the exhibits in advance also helps in case there are any technical difficulties with using the Share Screen feature to offer an exhibit into evidence.
Zoom has proven to be an incredibly valuable tool during this time and will undoubtedly continue to play a significant role in the trials of many attorneys and judges. The platform is also being used for depositions/mediation during this time and will likely continue to be used for some depositions/mediation in the future after the pandemic subsides.