No matter what industry you’re in, one thing is for certain: we have all been eager and cautious about returning back to “normal” – whatever that looks like! For attorneys, that includes returning back to the courtroom. As courts have started to open up again at limited capacity, there are new required protocols that help to ensure the health and safety of those entering the courtroom. Here are just some of the precautions you can expect:
1. Disinfectant Stations
Whether it be hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes, it won’t be a surprise that courtrooms now have ample supply of these items. This is to keep everyone safe and the germs at bay.
2. Plexiglass Installations
Another precaution that has popped up in businesses and stores across the country and has also been implemented in most courtrooms is plexiglass. These have been installed to help eliminate the risk of contracting COVID-19 and are sanitized often.
3. Don’t Forget Your Mask
In the state of California, it is required to wear a mask at all times while in the courtroom. The court will not provide a mask or face covering so be sure to bring one with you.
4. New Courtroom Layouts
You might notice how the layout of the courtroom might look a little different than it did before COVID-19. That’s because in order to accommodate for plexiglass and staying six feet apart, it’s possible that furniture and other materials are no longer where they once appeared. If you happen to be in lines in or outside the courtroom, you will also notice markers every six feet to keep people socially distanced.
5. Anticipate Longer Wait Times
Due to social-distancing guidelines, lines will appear longer and access to certain facilities might take more time than they usually do. We recommend arriving earlier than you normally would as a precaution.
6. Jury Trials Are (Somewhat) Back
In the state of California, every individual court is given the authority to decide if jury trials are appropriate. If it is deemed appropriate, the courts have decreased the number of jurors being summoned to report. Those who are selected for a trial will be provided sanitized spaces to convene and practice social distancing when possible.
These are just some of the precautions attorneys and legal teams should anticipate before entering the courtroom. While in-person proceedings continue to rise as COVID-19 cases lower, clients should know that certain cases can still be done virtually in order to reduce the spread.
Either way, it feels good to know that there is a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, and as you ride that train, Elite Court Reporting is here to help. Whether it’s in-person, remote or a hybrid of both, our team will deliver excellent, quality court reporting services. To learn more about our services, click here.