Principles For Remote Proceedings

In an article in the Northwestern University Law Review, the Brennan Center’s Alicia Bannon and Douglas Keith analyze courts’ use of virtual proceedings amid Covid-19 and the lessons learned over the past year.
In the essay, “Remote Court: Principles for Virtual Proceedings During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond,” the authors note the advantages to using remote technologies to conduct court proceedings, including time savings and greater court access for those who have the technology necessary to participate. But they also note that research suggests remote courts have significant shortcomings for some litigants and defendants, including a weakened attorney-client relationship, obstacles to submitting and reviewing documentary evidence, and unique disadvantages for self-represented litigants on the wrong side of the digital divide.
Building off of the Brennan Center’s work analyzing how video proceedings impact litigants’ access to justice, Bannon and Keith expand on their earlier set of principles courts should adhere to going forward when using remote technology. These principles include engaging a diverse array of stakeholders in decision-making, tailoring the plans for using remote tools to each type of proceeding, and bolstering the attorney-client relationship, among others.

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