Are You Prejudiced by the Court for Appearing Remotely?
Our California Supreme Court Chief Justice opined almost 15 years ago how important it is, particularly for family law litigants, to have easy access to the courts. Unexpectedly, we were faced with the challenge of a devastating pandemic that completely revolutionized how our court processes function. From challenges come opportunities.
The 21st century has arrived. There’s no reason to have to charge our clients $1,000 or more for a morning court appearance merely because we are tied up for the entire morning with their case waiting around in court to be called. That approach is clearly not the most cost-effective way to handle family law cases.
People are stressed about having to go to court. Some have limited means of transportation; others have childcare problems. COVID has not gone away. The Zoom platform elegantly addresses these concerns.
We have a younger crop of judges on the bench. They totally get the benefits of the internet age.
Another thing to consider is the immense cost of the courts of having sheriff department’s security and personnel that is scaled back because the physical traffic in the courts has been minimized…another cost savings to the taxpayer.
So my answer is no, there is absolutely no prejudice against anyone who is appearing remotely. It is a favored and essential option based upon the courts’ mandate to have equal access to the courts.
Engaged for decades in the Northern California legal community, Arlene D. Kock is a past member of the Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA) Board of Directors. She served on their Attorney Referral Panel for many years and was the past chair of their Ethics and Civility Committee. In her capacity on that committee, Arlene was instrumental in assisting the team in preparing and creating the ACBA statement of professionalism and civility, a policy that is expected to be adhered to today by the court and litigants. She is currently a member of the ACBA and the Contra Costa County Bar Association.