This week put a quick end to any lingering doubt that important business must wait because of COVID related shelter orders and slowdowns of regular operations. The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a wholly remote/video-conference based hearing addressing the biggest health crisis and economic event (of at least) our lifetimes. The hearing involved notoriously technology challenged Senators taking testimony from their homes around the country from the three public health experts leading the federal government's COVID response. It went seamlessly.
The same day, the wholly tech averse United States Supreme Court held the latest in a series of telephonic oral arguments addressing groundbreaking issues of American jurisprudence. The cases argued this week did not center on narrow, technical issues. Rather they were cases with sweeping and important implications on the balance of power and checks and balances that are the foundation of American government. The hearings went off without a hitch. Granted it hasn't always been so smooth -- last week a notorious toilet flush was captured on the audio feed!
Doctors are now examining and treating patients via remote appointments. And lawyers have been conducting depositions and meditations since March, so the next step is both expected and welcome.
On May 21, 2020, Judge Mark Brain of the Maricopa County Superior Court will preside over a virtual/video conference trial. This bench trial will proceed with counsel and witnesses participating by video link. The public, should there be non-parties who want to observe, can "attend" via phone link. Judge Brain's Order covers the waterfront of issues from reminding everyone to download the right software and setting up in a quiet, secure location to directing testifying witnesses to avoid coaching or other improper behavior.
The case is In Re the Matter of Michael Brockett and Emily Cullen, FC2018-007719.
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