We have seen an emergence of remote legal proceedings in the courts. For depositions, during the current social distancing restrictions, we are living under as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Is this something new? Not so much.
It is not uncommon to see one or more participants to a legal proceeding attend via video or telephonically. What is unusual is to have everyone appear remotely, especially the court reporter. But really, is it?
When digital reporting began gaining popularity within the court systems, we saw many of them design their solutions around the concept of central monitoring. Remote legal proceedings are a concept where the reporters locate in an area outside of the courtroom, usually in a central monitoring location. The process was accomplished with the use of connections to cameras in the courtroom, direct lines of communication to the courtroom, and clear and precise procedures. When appropriately planned, appropriately executed, and with buy-in from all, this proved to be a very successful model. Does this sound familiar?
Let’s look at our current work environment. Reporters can work remotely and use video conferencing platforms to see and hear everyone, and all participants are agreeing to the changes in the usual way of conducting business. And it’s working! But really – is it so new?