Online Litigation And Virtual Courthouses: A New Normal?

 Thursday, March 26, 2020

It took a global crisis, but Florida litigators and jurists are embracing technology in ways they never have, conducting oral arguments and other court proceedings online—and many of these COVID-19-induced adjustments could be permanent.

There’s no reason why hearings can’t continue remotely once life gets back to normal, according to Broward Circuit Chief Judge Jack Tuter, who said he’s received “rave reviews” from judges after securing 100 new video conferencing licenses with emergency funding from the Florida Supreme Court.

“Using such technical advances reduces costs, travel, the stress of all that is involved in getting to a courtroom,” said Tuter, who also thanked staff and lawyers for their understanding and cooperation.

“The end result of all of this may have a positive impact on how court hearings are conducted well into the future.”

While the Florida Supreme Court has been live-streaming its arguments since 1997, it’s considering looping in video conferencing technologies so that lawyers can make oral arguments remotely in May.