Florida Judges: Virtual Legal Proceedings are Here to Stay

  • June 18, 2020
  • /   Jennifer Dixon
  • /   Articles,Coronavirus COVID-19 Task Force,Litigation & Trial Practice
gavel in courtroom

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.  

For the latest COVID-19 updates and information, visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center.

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