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Mar 27th, 2020

Do’s and Don’ts for Telephonic Hearings

In current circumstances, we have all had to adjust to handling hearings almost exclusively by telephone.  We have heard from some of our judges about the difficulties associated with telephone hearings.  The current strain on phone lines/internet and the number of attorneys on the phone on every case have made court hearings quite challenging for both the bench and the attorneys, especially when everyone has to struggle to hear or understand the person speaking.

Below is a non-exclusive list of things you can and should do to make these hearings better for everyone.  We would appreciate everybody being mindful of these guidelines.

Do’s and Don’ts for Telephonic Hearings 

  • DO NOT TALK ON SPEAKER PHONE OR USE HANDS-FREE
  • Use a land line if at all possible.  Cell phones are not always clear.  It helps if you have a strong cellular service signal or use Wi-Fi boosting.
  • If you use a headset, make sure it’s a high quality headset.
  • Don’t conduct calls in public places, or while driving or in a moving car. Background noises (particularly wind) are very distracting.
  • Put your phone on Mute when not speaking.
  • Make an extra effort to speak slowly, clearly, and calmly.
  • Announce your name as much as practical.
  • Consider pausing a moment before speaking as delays are common.
  • Wait until you are called upon by the Court before speaking and do not talk over or interrupt another speaker.
  • Update your technology – some headsets, boosters, etc. are better than others.

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