On May 15, 2020, CAL-ABOTA issued its call to improve accessibility to the courts during the pandemic. We encouraged those courts in the State who were not employing reasonable remote working methods to do so immediately, as lawyers and clients were suffering from the shutdown of our courts. We recommended and endorsed best practices to handle case management conferences, informal discovery conferences, settlement conferences, and other court hearings, via remote means. We did not, however, endorse forced remote civil jury trials. As we are now witnessing some trial courts institute remote civil jury trials, we are compelled to express our concerns about court orders that force parties to participate in remote civil jury trials, as we believe such is inconsistent with the obligations of civil advocacy for our clients.
Click HERE to read the full statement.