COVID-19 Pandemic Results in Nationwide Changes to Courtroom Technology
Posted Dec 22, 2020
Jurisdictions throughout the country have adopted new technology in the courtroom due to COVID-19 and are likely to continue using this technology for the foreseeable future. The CARES Act (H.R. 748) passed in March had included $7.5 million to fund increased use of video and telephone conferencing at the federal level. Across the country in civil proceedings, changes to the rules of court and emergency orders have allowed technology usage in the form of pretrial and status conferences, remote depositions, electronic discovery, and more. However, there are challenges with this increased use of technology and with remote court proceedings. In November, litigation experts speaking at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s recent online seminar on COVID-19 and the future of jury trials identified the need to use remote technology where appropriate while still preserving the essential aspects of a justice system dominated by in-person proceedings. In addition, criminal proceedings have been more adversely affected by the shutdowns due to the need to bring jurors into the courthouse because of constitutional issues that are not present in civil cases. See ABA Law Technology Today, JDSupra.