Courts provide additional evidence re: the in person v. remote exam debate: trials and oral arguments delayed or held remotely via Zoom or teleconference
According to the ABA Journal, the 1st, 2d, 5th, 7th, and Federal Circuits are conducting oral arguments by Zoom or teleconference.
The ABA Journal also reports:
The Northern District of California said it would delay all criminal and civil jury trials through Jan. 26, impacting proceedings at its courthouses in San Francisco; Oakland, California; and San Jose, California.
The Central District of California announced that it would delay all civil and criminal trials for three weeks through Jan. 24.
“Given the increased rate of transmission of COVID-19 in the Central District of California due to the omicron variant, conducting jury trials would place court personnel, attorneys, parties and prospective jurors at undue risk,” the court’s statement said. “Accordingly, a temporary suspension of jury trials is necessary to protect public health and safety, as well as ensure the continuous performance of essential functions and operations of the court.”
The federal court in Connecticut announced Monday that it will delay trials set to begin before Feb. 1. The court’s order cited the risks of seating jurors close to each other and the “reduced ability to obtain an adequate spectrum of prospective jurors due to the public’s perceptions of the risks associated with jury service.”
Reuters reported Tuesday that an increasing number of federal courts are delaying trials, including in Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Maryland. State courts in Ohio, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland and Hawaii had also announced delays.
In some jurisdictions, trials are still going ahead. In New York, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore of the New York State Court of Appeals said in-person proceedings will continue, but the state courts will be “monitoring the metrics very closely, assessing the situation in each courthouse and staying ready to pivot quickly to make any and all appropriate adjustments necessary to respond to problem areas or new public health guidance.”