On-site and remote court appearances-Canna Law Blog™
Haven’t written for almost a year Litigation during COVID-19 , I think it can be said that 2021 has been a very busy year so far. Most litigation forecasts predict that litigation will increase significantly this year—due to the new circumstances created by COVID and the return of litigants suspended in 2020—I think they are absolutely correct. Although some courts are still working hard to clean up the backlog of hearings and trials last year, we see that most courts have actually done a very good job keeping up with the pace, even scheduled for August and September. With the trial date and related deadlines back on the calendar, Find It is bound to recover like a raging fire.
Testimony can be said to be the most important part of the discovery process, because written evidence discovery (questions, requests for document production, requests for recognition) is done by lawyers, if not almost completely prepared. Before COVID, remote/video testimony was very rare-only for those witnesses who were truly unable to travel or relieve some other additional burden. In 2020 and the first quarter of 2021, all testimonies were held remotely for obvious reasons. Now, I think we have entered a new transitional period, and the testimony can definitely take effect (especially considering the technological advances that the legal industry must implement), but lawyers and witnesses may still not want to (especially if they are not fully vaccinated) ), Boarding is required, etc.). What is the correct title here?
The answer, of course, depends on the situation. But here are some caveats that I experienced with my client:
Advantages of live broadcasting:
1. As I mentioned above, testimonies are inherently more useful because they need to be answered in real time without the help of a lawyer. Even if conducted remotely, on-site questioning is not 100% the same as when sitting face-to-face.
2. Testimony is a way to understand how witnesses may be shaped in trial. Body language and overall demeanor are more easily observed, and witnesses in their home/personal office will not behave as they would in a more formal setting. I think this is actually a very important consideration, because the jury is unpredictable (there may be another article in the future), and the data shows that it is difficult for the juror to change the early personality bias or impression.
3. If you anticipate the need to show a large number of documents to witnesses, it is usually much easier to do it in person. Last year I participated in a testimony involving more than 30 exhibits. Every time a witness had to examine something, it took nearly ten minutes to make sure that everyone was looking at the same thing.
1. The technology is quite satisfactory (I rarely encountered problems in the past year), even if it is not 100% the same, you are still conducting Q&A sessions in real time. Video conferencing technology also includes the ability to record testimony through audio or video, experience has shown that this also has a huge impact on jury trials.
2. Obviously, on-site testimony is expensive in terms of out-of-pocket expenses and lawyer time (to and from places, etc.). Court reporters sometimes use their meeting rooms, or use visual displays, etc.
Every case and witness is different, so other factors may need to be considered. I think there will still be a lot of video recording involved in the rest of 2021. In general, it is good to know that it is more of an accepted option when the time is right.