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Florida Judges: Virtual Legal Proceedings are Here to Stay

June 18, 2020

By: Jennifer Dixon

At the Judicial Roundtable presented by The Florida Bar Business Law Section on June 17, 2020, a majority of the panelists consisting of state circuit and appellate court judges indicated that, notwithstanding the status of pandemic-related court closures, "Zoom proceedings are here to stay."

Citing efficiencies for both the courts and for attorneys, as well the reduction of travel-related financial burdens on parties, Chief Judge Jonathan Sjostrom of the Second Judicial Circuit, Chief Judge Donald Myers of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, and Chief Judge Jack Tuter of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit all indicated that their respective courts will continue to embrace the technology and remote court proceedings even after the COVID-19 crisis is behind us.

Judge Myers added that the Ninth Judicial Circuit is taking virtual proceedings to the next level by participating in a pilot program to conduct jury trials remotely.

Judge William Thomas of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit suggested that lawyers can adapt to the technology by being more succinct in their writing with the understanding that judges are processing volumes of information electronically as opposed to traditional hard copies.

Judge Thomas also agreed that the adaptation to remote proceedings has been an overwhelmingly positive step for our state courts that must continue beyond the current public health crisis.  

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Jennifer R. Dixon is a pragmatic problem-solver. A shareholder in the firm’s Litigation & Trial Practice Group, she enjoys collaborating with clients to determine what solutions best meet their business or personal needs, and strategizing with them to arrive at the best possible outcome.

As a seasoned civil litigator, Jennifer innately understands when an issue must be decided by a jury or a judge. As an experienced mediator, she also knows when creative solutions can be employed to resolve a dispute outside the courtroom.

Jennifer leads the firm’s civil appellate practice, having appeared in over 70 state and federal appeals on behalf of appellants, appellees and amicus curiae (“friends of the court”). She regularly works with clients engaged in the businesses of real estate, hospitality, construction, themed entertainment, and outdoor advertising.

She is also an experienced family and marital lawyer—handling issues concerning divorce, child custody, support, and prenuptial agreements. The depth and diversity of Jennifer’s legal experience allows her to have a unique perspective in working with clients across all industries with varying legal needs.

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