Remote or Not…It’s Still a Court Proceeding

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Indiana Court Times on 3/29/2021 by Adrienne Meiring, Counsel | Judicial Qualifications Commission

The past year has provided a number of unprecedented challenges for the judiciary, which has allowed the court system to demonstrate its adaptability and innovation to keep the wheels of justice moving. With the advent of video-conference hearings and court proceedings being livestreamed, parties and witnesses may participate in proceedings from a remote location, which promotes citizen and employee safety and gives more people an opportunity to see courts in action.

And people are indeed tuning in—perhaps in greater numbers than before the pandemic. Now more than ever, it’s important for judges to remember that despite the less-formal feel of remote hearings, these are still court proceedings, and judges continue to have ethical obligations during them to maintain public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary (R. 1.2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct); to require order and decorum in proceedings (R. 2.8(A)); and to behave in a patient, dignified, and courteous manner (R. 2.8(B)).