Due to the state response to the COVID pandemic, under certain circumstances California courts now allow judges and attorneys to use video and telephone conferencing to conduct depositions and discovery hearings in divorce and other family law proceedings. However, the use of long-distance technology does not yet extend to jury trials. Divorce and custody trials will still require a courtroom presence for judges, attorneys, individual litigants and jurors, although the formats have been altered for safety purposes.
Although criminal trials continue to be on hold in California state courts, arraignments, guilty pleas and some sentencing will be allowed by video conferencing, as well.
In an April news article reporting the decision to allow video conferencing, the San Francisco Chronicle noted that COVID pandemic has made it necessary that long-established constitutional rights in court are now being weighed against the serious health concerns resulting from human proximity during this pandemic.
For people filing for divorce or involved in other family court matters, such as custody rights, video conferencing mean it will not be necessary to attend court hearings in person, in cases where a personal appearance would have been necessary in the past. It will remain to be seen whether the video conferencing will remain an option after the courts re-open after pandemic restrictions are lifted.
Christy, Keith & Donnell Family Law Group, P.C. Makes Video Conferencing Available For Consultations
At Christy, Keith & Donnell Family Law Group, P.C. we know that our clients are being faced with incredible challenges during this unprecedented time. While our physical offices may be closed, we want you to know that we are still available and accessible to you.
Whether you are an existing client with an open case or need to talk about a legal matter for the first time, our employees are working remotely, and are there to address the needs you may have. In addition to being able to reach our team phone or e-mail, you also are invited to drop off documentation under the front door of our office, or set up a no-contact appointment to provide us with necessary documents.
Our video consultation services include:
- A video conference with a qualified family law attorney who can provide you with the information and support that you need at this time.
- A breakdown of the legal costs and fees that may be required for your case.
- Detailed information about how the current circumstances are impacting legal cases in California.
Our video conference consultations are both safe and convenient, and we are proud to be offering our clients innovative services during this challenging moment in our history.
We recognize that the social isolation and physical distancing required during the COVID-19 pandemic is having a unique impact on family law. We know that our clients are facing legal challenges they never expected and were not prepared for. If you have any questions about your divorce settlement or child custody agreement, please reach out to us. We are ready and willing to advocate for you.
For more information about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to schedule a video conference consultation, contact us today.