Number of State Supreme Courts Meeting Remotely Increases Under Pandemic

A growing number of State Supreme Courts are resorting to conducting meetings via videoconferencing and teleconferencing systems in order to continue the business of the courts while still complying with stay-at-home and social distancing guidelines.

From the National Center for State Courts (NCSC):

“In fact, 20 state supreme courts and other courts of last resort have met remotely during this time, mostly hearing oral arguments and sometimes ruling on urgent matters, as the Kansas Supreme Court did. And 14 other states and territories have made plans to do so. 

One of the first to do so was the North Dakota Supreme Court, which on March 24, for the first time ever, heard oral arguments using a videoconferencing app. The technology allowed the justices to participate as they normally would, asking lawyers questions and making comments. “Most of the lights were out Monday at the North Dakota Supreme Court as part of social distancing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the court said in a statement. “But the justices conducted business nevertheless — simultaneously from locations all over the state.””

If you are a legal professional or court officer and are looking for more guidance on how to proceed more safely and efficiently during this emergency, you can find a good resource of information at the NCSC’s “Coronavirus and the Courts” website for National Center for State Courts.

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