Woman attending remote court hearings on laptop

6 Do’s and Don’ts for Remote Court Hearings and Mediations

Are you scheduled to attend any remote court hearings or mediations in the near future? These tips will make everyone take you seriously.

As we have made our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, courts and legal professionals have had to adapt to new health and safety guidelines. Many courtrooms began conducting hearings online via Zoom and other video conferencing technology to keep things moving.

Are virtual courtroom hearings the new normal? Even after the pandemic ends, we may still see a significant portion of legal business conducted online. With that in mind, here are some things you should know about attending courtroom proceedings or mediations from your computer.

What to Do (and Not Do) When You Attend a Remote Court Hearing or Mediation

1. Do dress for success.

When you go to a hearing, you want to make a good impression, and that means dressing in nice, formal clothing. The same rule applies to virtual court proceedings. Keep in mind that certain materials, patterns, and fabrics may appear distorted on your webcam. Try to test your outfit on your camera before your court date.

2. Do join the meeting in a good location.

Just as your outfit sends a message to those on the other side of the screen, so does the room where you take the call. Your background speaks volumes. Make sure you join the meeting from a clean, appropriate room. Many people choose professional rooms, such as an office or a dining room.

3. Do make sure you have a good internet connection.

A spotty internet connection can be a nightmare if you have to join a video call. Lagging video and audio can make communication unintelligible. If your internet is slow (or goes out completely), be sure to call in from your phone.

4. Do not let yourself get distracted.

Make sure that others you share your home with know that your remote court hearing is important. Tell them to be quiet so you don’t get distracted. Better yet, lock the door so no one can bother you.

5. Do not use any unprofessional filters.

Zoom has filters that you can turn on to make your video picture look different. Most of these filters are not appropriate for court or any other legal meeting.

6. Do not talk over others.

When two people speak at the same time, no one can hear what anyone is saying. That is especially true for remote court hearings. Audio can cut out if you try to talk over someone—never interrupt when someone else is speaking.

Are you prepared for your remote court hearings or mediation sessions?

If you have any questions about an upcoming virtual meeting with a judge or mediator, you should speak to your attorney. Get in touch with me today so that we can discuss all the preparations you need to make before the date. I will help you navigate this stressful process.