Participating in a New Jersey Virtual Hearing
The coronavirus pandemic has restricted in-person access to the court system in most counties. However, legal proceedings are still happening virtually, either by phone or over Zoom. If you are bringing a legal matter to court, an experienced attorney at Moskowitz Law Group could help you meet every requirement to participate in a virtual hearing in New Jersey.
A person planning to participate in a remote hearing needs to first ensure that they have all of the necessary technology. Fortunately, the required materials are simple, and either a phone or computer with internet access will typically suffice. If the hearing is by phone, all parties, including the individual, their attorney, and the court will call into the meeting using a designated code. If it is a video conference, the court will provide a link to the Zoom or other video application which will direct all parties to the meeting.
Main Differences Between Virtual and In-Person Proceedings
A virtual hearing certainly has a different dynamic than an in-person event, but there are still many similarities. With video, all parties involved in the hearing can still see each other, and the individual and their attorney will still be able to make all of their desired arguments before the judge.
One challenge posed by this new format is that the judge’s ability to observe body language and demeanor is somewhat restricted. Though the judge may not be able to take those observations into account when making a ruling, this kind of proceeding is still effective. Virtual hearings have been yielding productive case outcomes since the pandemic began and are even more convenient and less stressful for the participants in many ways, as everyone involved can call in from the comfort of their own home or office.
Dress Code Requirements
Anyone participating in a New Jersey remote court hearing should give the judge the same respect as they would in a courtroom. The attorneys will dress professionally as if they are going to court, and each party involved in the case will be requested to do the same. A hearing participant may be asked by their attorney to dress in business casual and look presentable, as appearance is still an important element even in these virtual cases.
Logistics of a Virtual Hearing
Similar to the process of an in-person court proceeding, the parties and attorneys involved in a particular case could be waiting a significant amount of time on the day of their hearing before their case is called. The parties may need to wait in a virtual waiting room if the court has scheduled several different hearings for the same day, and they will be admitted once the court is ready for them.
How quickly a virtual hearing proceeds depends on a number of factors, such as whether the required documents were submitted in advance, if the matter is contested, if there is any cross-examination, or if there are any technological issues. If no serious issues arise, the event could conclude within an hour or less, but there is no specified time frame. Every case and judge is different, which impacts how long a proceeding will take.
In a virtual hearing, the attorney could be in one location, the parties can be in another location or multiple locations, and the judge could be at the court or in their home. This can save the participants travel time and make this process more convenient. The parties in family law cases typically conduct these virtual proceedings from their own homes, but if they lack internet access, they may be able to call in from their attorney’s office, depending on the circumstances.
Let a Skilled New Jersey Attorney Prepare You to Participate in a Virtual Hearing
There are numerous guidelines that all parties participating in a New Jersey court hearing during the COVID-19 pandemic must follow. A compassionate attorney at Moskowitz Law Group could ensure that you are familiar with every requirement and work diligently to help you fulfill your legal obligations during these challenging times. Contact us today to set up your first consultation.