As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect nearly every aspect of life, officials in the Connecticut legal system have found new ways to adapt and to allow proceedings to continue in a safe way. With remote options, attorneys, witnesses, and others can communicate and keep the legal process running, even while they keep their distance physically.
How Hearings Occur Online
The Connecticut Judicial Branch initially focused on “Priority 1” functions under its Continuity of Operations Plan. It recently instituted new policies to process more cases and to perform additional functions. Those measures will help judicial officials handle criminal, civil, family, and juvenile cases remotely and resolve matters in a timely manner.
The Remote Justice Virtual Courtroom will allow attorneys, witnesses, and other participants to take part in on-the-record legal proceedings via videoconference. Attendees can use the Microsoft Teams platform to communicate on a desktop or laptop computer or a handheld device, provided the device they use meets the technical requirements.
Teams will let participants see and hear each other so they can ask and answer questions. The technology will also allow attendees to share videos and other exhibits electronically during legal proceedings so everyone can follow along, regardless of physical location.
The Connecticut Judicial Branch issued a series of guidelines and recommendations that explain how to use Teams and that guide participants through the process of conducting a virtual legal proceeding. The document describes the technical requirements, how to use the software, ways to ensure clear communication and minimize distractions, and other important information.
Get Local Help with Remote Legal Hearings
A Plus Reporting offers reliable court reporting services, including remote deposition services that can help attorneys, witnesses, and others comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and keep all parties involved safe. Hearings can be conducted remotely, and participants can log in from wherever they are. Our team can set up, moderate, and manage the remote proceeding.
At our office in Plainville, Connecticut, we offer three meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of up to 10 people, as well as breakout rooms where attorneys can meet for private discussions. A court reporter can be present to prepare a transcript. Exhibits can be scanned, and hyperlinks can be embedded in transcripts so they can be easily viewed as needed. We can also record the hearing.