The COVID-19 pandemic has altered many of the ways courts across the country conduct hearings and trials. It used to be that if you needed to appear in court, you would do so in person. That is still an option as we slowly return to normalcy, but in the interests of everyone’s safety, many proceedings are being conducted virtually in Zoom court.
Zoom court has kept the legal system moving forward. But just because we do not always need to be in a courtroom physically does not mean you should ignore basic etiquette, rules, and planning.
If your upcoming day in family court will be on Zoom, whether for divorce or another matter, keep these six things in mind:
First impressions are everything, even in a virtual setting. Because you are not there in person, you should try even harder to look your best and show that you are taking the proceedings seriously. No one expects you to dress up in a three-piece suit or evening gown, but Courts have a dress code, and a simple description is business attire.
Arrive on time
This is a tad different than being in person, as we have long said that it is a good idea to show up 45 minutes to an hour before your case is heard. Unless you are given specific instructions for your Zoom court, it’s a good idea to sign in at least 15 to 20 minutes early. This allows you to check your connection, settle your nerves, and get to where you are supposed to be. It also speaks to your character and the importance you have placed on the case.
Speak only when spoken to
As is the case any time you are on Zoom with a group of people (whether for work or Zoom court), mute your mic to avoid background noise and anything else that could slow down the proceedings. Unmute when asked to speak, and then mute yourself again when you are finished.
Speaking of Zoom etiquette, try not to sign in for your Zoom court case on a cellphone. Use a laptop or desk computer, as this cuts down on shaking camera screens and eliminates the desire to get up and move around. No one wants to get a tour of your home or office while in Zoom court. Sit in one place, be courteous to the judge, your attorney, the opposing counsel, and even the opposing party.
This is where having an attorney in your corner can help tremendously, as the two of you can plan in advance of your court date to ensure you have all your necessary paperwork and documents in hand.
Allow your lawyer to take the wheel — We have said this many times before, and it is just as important in Zoom court. If you want to win your case, you need to make sure you let your lawyer take the front seat and do the work for you. Sure, there is prep work that you can do to eliminate unnecessary costs and make their jobs easier but allow your lawyer the opportunity to develop a case strategy in consultation with you.
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
A divorce is a significant, life-changing event. You need a trusted advisor to guide you through each stage of your divorce (including Zoom court) and work diligently to achieve a result that ensures you receive what you are entitled to and need to move forward onto the next stage of your life. We are invested in you and your family, but we also know the law.
Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A. Nelson, click here.