Prepping your client for a remote hearing? Check the client’s screen name.

Good news: “I’m not a cat” lawyer might be off the hook!  More on that in a moment.

Yesterday the Vermont Supreme Court amended Administrative Order 49, the order declaring a judicial emergency. Per the State Court Administrator’s memo to the bar:

  • “Paragraph 5(d) is amended to lift the existing requirement for mandatory remote hearings effective June 14, 2021. By this date, individuals will have had an opportunity to become fully vaccinated. The Court anticipates that some hearings will continue to be held remotely after remote hearings are no longer mandatory and even after the conclusion of the judicial emergency. Amending the order now gives judges, court staff, parties, and their lawyers adequate time to plan for the possibility of in-person court proceedings.”

Since some hearings will continue to be held remotely, I thought I’d share this tip: competent and diligent representation might include a dry run with a client before a remote hearing. Not only for the obvious reasons, but to check the client’s screen name.

Why would you want to check the client’s screen name?

Good question.

For the answer, read today’s ABA Journal post Judge is taken aback when Defendant logs in to Zoom arraignment with obscene screen name.  The Detroit News, Law & Crime, and Vice covered the story as well, each apparently including video.

And to think I never thought it could be worse than having to tell a judge “I’m not a cat.”

Oops

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