Judicial Circuit for Hillsborough County. Before this coronavirus, not many people had heard about Zoom. Zoom is a video conferencing platform that allows you to communicate by video and audio with a person or group of people. Temporarily, it has replaced face to face meetings, hearings, mediations, deposition and any other court proceedings.
How do you navigate Zoom video conferencing for meetings with your attorney, for hearings with the judges, for mediations in your family law matter, for a deposition in your family law case, or for other types of proceedings and meetings?
Getting Started With A Zoom Meeting
If you receive a Zoom invitation, in order to enter a meeting, you will need to download the Zoom application. It may be beneficial if you believe you need a meeting with your attorney, you have an upcoming family law hearing, mediation or deposition to set up Zoom now. You will need a device with a camera. Once you have downloaded the application, make sure you input your real name for a login. It will assist those in the meeting in knowing who has entered the meeting if visual is not used.
Before every meeting you will receive a link from the host to join the meeting or an ID code. One you click on the link, you will be directed to the meeting. You may be able to see everyone who is appearing in that meeting or if it is a mediation, you make be in a breakout room until the mediation begins. Make sure your audio is on mute (left bottom corner of screen).
Presentation can be as important as presence
If you are joining a hearing, make sure your audio is on mute at the beginning until it is time for you to speak. Judges want to hear and see you when you are speaking at a hearing. If you are on video, make sure the camera can see your face and your camera is eye level. Furthermore, make sure there are no distractions in the background. You may be able to use a virtual background depending on the type of equipment you have. Check the lighting in your room to make sure that everyone can see your face and it is not dark. Avoid eating, drinking, typing, and other activities during the Zoom. All participants should have their full attention during the session.
The use of Zoom and other video conferencing technology makes everyone safer, but it’s not without some complications. Remember, any time you go to court you must present yourself in the best possible light, even if that light is a lamp next to your couch.”