Hi there it’s Billie Tarascio from Modern Law Practice and yes, it has been a while, but it is good to see you today. I had my first Zoom trial, like full blown, 3-hour evidentiary hearing. I’ve done some online hearings before, but they were mostly non evidentiary. And that’s probably why, one of the reasons why I’m doing videos, cause I actually looked like a lawyer today, which is so nice, different than how I’ve been looking usually.
What are some lessons from the zoom hearing today? It wasn’t zero. It was Go To Meeting, but the same, you know, generally speaking, as Zoom.
How comfortable you are with video matters and it matters more now than ever. The other lawyer was older and much less comfortable with video. When my client was on video from his house, I was also on video from my office and he was at his office. The other lawyer was at his office with his client and they were both wearing masks.
And then there was an administrator also wearing a mask. So his computer was way over here, with him sitting, you know, way back here, which meant he couldn’t reach me. He couldn’t turn his video off and on, he actually couldn’t get the video to work. We started 10 minutes late because they had technical problems.
And then when they did, when they did finally figure out the tech problems, the setup was just less, less than ideal. So they ended up taking their masks off, which is probably good. You don’t really want to have a Zoom hearing wearing masks. You probably don’t want to have any hearing wearing masks, but the nice thing about doing this via video or Zoom is the judge got to see my face up close and got to see my client’s face from much further away.
The other lawyer and the client were placed quite a bit back from the camera and the sound was messed up for them. It was just less than ideal. So going through the preparation of the exhibits with your client and the setup was really good.
Now I had Zoom open, which I used to prepare my client before the hearing. And we use that for chat so that we could chat one another, during the hearing. And that was just muted and there was no video, but we left it open for chat. You could do the same thing via text if you wanted to do it that way, but you need to figure out a way to communicate with your client.
All in all, it went really well for my clients. And I think that if you have not yet spent some time getting comfortable with the video, you can’t do too much and you probably need to do more. Investing in some lighting and some better sound equipment is going to be really helpful as well as going through the process with your client first, such as how your exhibits are set up and that sort of thing.
So that is all for now. I feel like I have more updates. I’m going to do a second video and we’ll talk soon.