COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live in unexpected ways and the legal system is no different. Although it varies widely from state to state, many jurisdictions are now holding hearings virtually, using video or telephone conferencing.
If you have a phone or conference call hearing scheduled, we have prepared this tip sheet to make sure your hearing goes smoothly,
WHAT YOU NEED TO ATTEND A VIRTUAL HEARING
Some hearings, such as Social Security Disability hearings in front of an Administrative Law Judge are conducted by phone. You have the choice to be on a conference call at the attorney’s office or join in from your phone in the privacy of your home. All you will need is a landline or cell phone.
WHAT YOU NEED TO PARTICIPATE IN A TELECONFERENCE HEARING:
- A phone, tablet, or computer with a built-in camera and microphone.
- If your device doesn’t have a built-in camera and/or mic you will need to purchase an external one.
- The video/telephone conferencing app that the hearing office will be using. The court will notify you or your attorney which app to use and provide instructions on how to use it. Download it a couple of days before the hearing and do a test run, preferably with your attorney’s office. The court seems to prefer Zoom, WebEx, Skype or Google Meet.
- If you don’t know how to set these up, go to YouTube for simple tutorials.
- Quality internet access (download/upload speeds of at least 1.5 Megabits per second- you can check it here)