Even as we reach COVID-normal, the Family and Federal Circuit Courts are continuing to run a significant proportion of their court dates online and by videoconferencing. The dominant system in Victoria is using Microsoft Teams, but other States are preferring teleconference phone calls (preferred in Tasmania) or other video services like WebEx. All of these systems have free apps for mobile and computer that allow you to join in.
How do these Court dates work? Being in a videocall with the Court is just like being in Court in person in terms of protocols – you should be neatly dressed, silent until your case is called, and not wear hats or sunglasses on the top of your head when in Court. However the system of video links allows the Court to reach people quickly and more easily and in many cases provide accessible justice in a whole new way. Being able to more easily balance your court appearance with your commitments to work and to parenting is a real breakthrough for litigants in family law. Many clients have reported feeling they get more value from their lawyers and barristers, who spend more time preparing the case and talking with their client before the court date, instead of meeting for the first time on the day.
For many interim and procedural issues, the online environment is perfectly suited to balance speed, proportionate cost and time, and may form the basis of new ways to litigate for years after the pandemic is a distant memory.
At Nevett Ford Lawyers, we are committed to working with systems both new and established to deliver great outcomes for our clients. Call us on 03 9614 7111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your upcoming hearing and how we can help.