Returning to Court in a Post – COVID Era: The Pros and Cons of a Virtual Court System
March 15, 2024

The world as we knew it changed forever at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, precipitating a seismic shift in the legal industry, particularly in the conduct of court proceedings.The closure of businesses, restaurants, schools and government facilities rendered the in-person style of court hearings that we all knew as the normative practice no longer feasible.

On March 9, 2020, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for Florida.Days later, the Florida Supreme Court suspended jury trials due to health and safety concerns caused by COVID-19. The suspension resulted in the cancellation of thousands of hearings and brought civil jury trials in Florida to an abrupt halt.With the judiciary’s functionalities being severely disrupted, the court was required to consider alternative ways to conduct hearings and jury trials while protecting the parties’ rights and the public’s health and safety.

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