2020 has definitely been a year of change and the Orange County Family Law courts are no different. During Covid19 the OC courts have only been open by virtual appointment.

For you to open a new case you would need to initiate it by E-File.  Cases are being given virtual hearing dates based on length and complexities with longer hearing cases being moved to Q1, 2021.

The Orange County Courts have published information to help litigants better prepare for their virtual “day in court” remote style hearing.

Here we’ve attached some key points to help you have a better virtual experience:

-Remember to dress like you are going to court. Professional attire and a good attitude is very important for a better outcome and how you will come across on camera to the court.

-Download Zoom or whichever platform your hearing will be conducted on in advance.

-If you are providing Exhibits for your hearing find out when they must be received by the court.

-If planning to call a witness make sure you prepare a witness list.

-Check your WiFi signal in advance to ensure it is strong enough for a Zoom or other type of conference call meeting.   You may have to turn off other device in your home to allow for a stronger signal.

-You should have a good quality microphone and camera (one that has noise cancellation) and check that they are working properly before the day of your hearing. You also want to test them that they don’t echo when turned up.

Keep your Microphone on silence until your hearing starts. Check to make sure they are fully charged the day of your hearing.

-Choose a quiet place for your hearing where you won’t have any interruptions.

The background (what others see) should look clean and appropriate for court. Make sure the lighting is good, but be careful with windows that it isn’t too bright.

-Remember everything is on camera and will be enhanced. Facial expressions, your demeanor, paper-shuffling being noisy can all be annoying distractions that takes away from the hearing going smoothly. Stay calm look into the camera and speak clearly and you will have a better virtual experience.

(For more information on virtual court hearings and source for some of the content in this article see www.OCBAR.ORG.familylawtf)