Many hearings are now conducted by Telephone or Video, Zoom, or Skype. Some Florida Courts have strict rules for appearing.
The year 2020 generated a lot of changes for us all. Chief among them are how to appear safely court proceedings. To that end, some Florida courts have initiated formal rules of procedures and electronic hearings. While many courts have not overflow of this, these new Federal rules have some common sense tips that we all can find useful.
Some judges have noted that parties have not dressed appropriately for court. Business casual or a suit and tie seems to be the preference for most judges.
Ask yourself, would someone really expect you to be on a beach in Hawaii
while you are involved in an possibly life changing matter in court?
In addition, some software packages allow for changing backgrounds, make sure in the background is appropriate to the formality of the court. Ask yourself, would someone really expect you to be on a beach in Hawaii while you are involved in an possibly life changing matter in court?
Some judges prefer and some courts prohibit appearing from your vehicle.
Make sure your phone and video connection is stable.
Some courts require only one speaker for each party to speak on behalf of their cause. When you’re not speaking try not to interrupt. Make sure you identify herself each time you speak.
Tips for Appearing
We use a headset, external microphone, studio lights, and a plain white background. Generally, we also use this equipment for our virtual meetings with clients, witnesses, and other lawyers.
Here are the actual rules that for one court that will be in effect starting in early 2021.
Chief United States District Judge, Timothy J. Corrigan encourages litigants to “Please visit the Court’s website for more information about the changes to the Local Rules, including a video presentation (that will qualify for CLE credit) and bullet point summary explaining the changes.”
Florida District Court Rules on Appearing in Court by Telephone or Video, Zoom, or Skype
If a judge conducts a proceeding by telephone or video, a participant:
(1) must dress in professional attire and use a professional background if either is visible,
(2) must use a landline if available,
(3) must designate one speaker for each party or interested person,
(4) must not participate from a vehicle,
(5) must use the mute setting when not speaking,
(6) must try to avoid background noise or other interference,
(7) must wait for the judge to address the participant before speaking and must not interrupt a speaker, and
(8) must start each distinct presentation by saying “this is [name]” or the equivalent.