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ZOOM Court Appearances

Tips for a Successful Remote Hearing

Remember the Court proceedings are official, on the record, and are being recorded. All parties are instructed not to record these proceedings. Counsel and all participants present are instructed to act as though you were in the actual courtroom. Accordingly, please exercise proper courtroom decorum at all times. Participants MAY NOT chat with other participants or witnesses using the Zoom chat feature when a participant or witness is testifying.

Get Familiar with Zoom Software:

  • The Zoom help center at support.zoom.us has several tutorials and videos available to help familiarize yourself with the Zoom software

  • Join a Zoom test meeting at zoom.us/test and test your internet connection and audio setup prior to the hearing.

Setting the Scene:

  • Determining the best location for you to attend your Zoom hearing.

  • Try selecting a smaller room or space. When using a larger-room, face away from the largest or open part of the room. Larger rooms or high ceilings may cause your voice to echo or sound hollow.

  • Be mindful of what is behind you. A busy or messy background can be distracting. Choose a location where there is a solid, neutral wall behind you. Allow for some distance between yourself and any pictures, artwork or furniture that may be behind you.

  • Check the lighting. Ideally, sit facing a window, or position a lamp where the light is directly on your face. Light from a window behind you might blind the camera, making you look dark. Light above you in the center of a room might cast shadows. Also be aware, your monitor casts light that can make you look blue. Sit in a comfortable, stationary chair that does not swivel or rock and supports good posture.

  • If at all possible witnesses should be on their own devices and in separate rooms. Two devices in the same room causes feedback, echoing, and screeching. Sharing one microphone is not ideal as some devices will only transmit sound from one person and not the other person sitting right next to them.

What to Wear:

  • Remember this is an official Court hearing. Dress like you would if you were attending court in person.

  • Dress in a soft solid color. If a tie is worn, use a solid tie rather than one with a pattern.

During your Hearing:

  • Position your device's camera at or slightly above your eye level, use books or other items to prop up your computer or phone if needed.

  • Look directly at the camera when speaking, not at the screen; eye contact is important.

  • Silence or exit programs and apps on your computer or phone that has notifications.

  • Turn the volume up on the device you are using for Zoom and make. sure your speakers are not turned off.

  • Speak one at a time and pause prior to speaking, in case there is any audio or video lag.

  • Mute yourself when not speaking in order to avoid any potential background noise.