Originally published by Robert Epstein.
Even when society seems like it has come to a halt, life does not and neither does the legal system. In this age of social distancing, self-quarantining, and virtual hangouts, Texas courts have been on the forefront of keeping the legal system accessible to everyone. This is especially true in the realm of family law where courts have employed virtual hearings and trials to keep matters moving on their dockets.
Along with the courts, McClure Law Group is prepared for all virtual hearings. Our family law attorneys are still actively working for justice through participating in Zoom hearings, trials, and mediations. Our attorneys have participated in multiple virtual hearings while the shelter-in-place orders have been in effect. The professionals at McClure law Group have also used Zoom while meeting with clients to help respect everyone’s health and safety during the pandemic. The law firm aims to be as accessible as possible and continues to zealously advocate for all of its clients.
Brief Overview of Hearing Procedure
All parties involved are sent a link to join a secure Zoom conference which is where the hearing will take place. Each party has an opportunity to speak and it operates similar to an ordinary in-person hearing. Witnesses are placed into a virtual holding room where they will be conferenced in when it is time for their testimony. Different counties have slightly different operating guidelines, but the McClure Law Group attorneys are able to navigate the ins and outs of each county and will be right there with you to help you along the way.
Exhibits can be offered into evidence through the Share Screen feature. The Share Screen feature enables all hearing participants to see the screen of the attorney offering the exhibit. Even if it is an audio or video recording, the attorney who is sharing his or her screen can play the recording for all participants. So that the court reporter may have the exhibits as part of the record, the courts have required that any exhibits to be used at an upcoming hearing be provided to the Court and opposing counsel by e-mail the day before the hearing. Having copies of the exhibits in advance also helps in case there are any technical difficulties with using the Share Screen feature to offer an exhibit into evidence.
Zoom has proven to be an incredibly valuable tool during this time and will undoubtedly continue to play a significant role in the trials of many attorneys and judges. The platform is also being used for depositions during this time and will likely continue to be used for some depositions in the future after the pandemic subsides.
The attorneys at McClure Law Group are proficient in this valuable technological resource which is helping to secure access to justice for their clients. If you have have a Zoom setting coming up in a family law matter and need some advice, please call 214-692-8200 for further guidance today!