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  • Scott Smith

Courtrooms closed, Judges still active

As an attorney with over 15 years of litigation experience, meaning hearings, trials and court-related interaction, I can honestly confirm that the judges we have elected are working amazingly hard, more than ever (and they already work long hours and do very much care about everyone in their courtrooms) to address the needs of cases through video-conferencing and telephonic means. Although the Governor's Executive Orders effectively "closed" the physical nature of courtrooms, judges are available to provide remedies to those in need of court intervention. While it may not be ideal to litigators like me to present witnesses or evidence by means of telephone or video-conference platforms, like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, something is better than nothing. The judges and their staff have done everything in their power to ensure that court access is still available, as it should be, to those in need of help. Attorneys can still file motions and pleadings and seek relief from the courts, but like we all have, they must be ready and willing to adapt to the present situation caused by COVID-19 and the reaction thereto. So be patient, try to work on resolving issues that may not actually need to be presented to a judge - but if there is little choice, I guarantee that despite technological complications and limitations impacting the traditional way of courtroom presentation, judges are exceedingly understanding and capable of serving us, serving parties, and ensuring that necessary issues are heard and remedied. Telephones and video conferencing platforms are nothing new - business deals have been closed, meeting and presentations have been done for years via other means than in-person settings - so while a pandemic may have closed the courtrooms, judges are not taking a break by any means.


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