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How to Navigate Virtual Court Hearings and Virtual Mediation

“Virtual Hearings”

This is not a phrase that most attorneys are used to hearing. Due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, most court rooms have switched to web streaming software in an attempt to continue to hear cases while being as safe as possible.

There are many pros of having a virtual hearing. First off, virtual hearings are not as nerve wracking as live hearings! You don’t have to make a trip to your county Court, wait in line and then stand before everyone to try your case. While the same process happens virtually, it is somehow less intimidating on a computer screen.  

Another pro of having a virtual hearing is that you spend less time commuting! This means you have more time to get ready and look nice for your hearing! While Court may be virtual, the same standards are upheld in the virtual Courtroom.

Have a hearing coming up soon? Here’s a few tips for you to prep and get ready for a stress-free hearing.

  1. Watch live footage of Court so you know what to expect
    1. Most Courts that have public trials are streaming them live online. Feel free to login and watch some of the cases so you know what to expect with your trial. Just remember to be respectful as this is still court.
    2. Fulton County Live Link: Click Here
  2. Dress Appropriately
    1. While this might be a virtual trial, the Judge can still see what you are wearing. You are still expected to look nice, clean, and professional. Since you will only see your top half, feel free to wear comfortable shoes or pants! Just make sure the top half of your outfit/appearance is acceptable.
  3. Remember to MUTE your audio
    1. There’s nothing worse than sitting in court (virtually, of course) and having someone say something inappropriate in the background. If you’re an attorney, you don’t want to talk about other clients in an open Courtroom. If you’re a client, you don’t want someone asking if you want cheese on your sandwich while the Judge is talking. Play it safe and hit the mute button as soon as you log in. Just remember: unmute before it’s your turn to speak!
  4. Check your background and your surroundings
    1. Before logging on, make sure to look behind you. Double check that there is nothing behind you that would be considered unprofessional. For example: If you’re taking the call at home, make sure you have a blank background instead of your wacky holiday photos.
  5. Let anyone in your house know you will be on a call
    1. This is probably the most funny, most embarrassing tip we can provide. You’ve probably seen funny videos of News Anchors, Attorneys, and other business professionals trying to conduct a call and having someone walk in on the call. If not, click here for a good laugh! We want to make sure this is not you. So, make sure to inform everyone in your household that you will be on a call so as to not have any background noise or extra guests on your call.