The pandemic has forced the US legal system to change how it does things. For example, online court proceedings are becoming more common during the pandemic. A state like Texas had over a million court proceedings since the start of the pandemic and February of last year. It stated that it might do more online court proceedings between the years 2021 to 2022.
As the pandemic forces more and more people into the online court system, it is crucial to be prepared before you proceed, especially if you’re scheduled to have one. Here are five things you need to do before joining an online court trial.
Check Your Internet Connection
The very first thing you should consider is to check your internet connection. A strong and stable internet connection ensures that your online court proceeding goes smoothly. If you’re using a laptop, use an ethernet cable to ensure that you have a strong and stable connection.
If you’re using a mobile device, check to see if there are any hotspots nearby that you can connect to. If you have a data plan, ensure you won’t exceed your limit during the proceeding.
Make sure that you have a stable online connection. You can check your internet connection by visiting websites like Speedtest. It’ll tell you valuable information regarding your internet connection and whether it can sustain a smooth video call.
Check Your Hardware
The next thing you should do is check your hardware. Ensure your computer or mobile device meets the minimum system requirements for the online court proceeding.
If you’re not sure what the requirements are, you can usually find them on the court website where you’re scheduled to appear.
It’s also essential to check if your device has enough storage space. It’s because online court proceedings are usually recorded, and you might need to refer back to the recording later.
If you’re using a laptop, make sure it’s plugged in and has enough battery life. You don’t want your laptop to die in the middle of the proceeding. You should also test your audio and video settings to ensure everything works correctly. The last thing you want is technical difficulties during your online court proceeding.
Make Sure You Can Record It
Court proceedings usually have valuable information that you and a group of experts might miss the first time. That’s why it’s crucial to have a way to record the proceedings.
If you’re using a laptop, you can use software like QuickTime Player to record the proceedings. If you’re using a mobile device, some apps can help you record the proceedings.
However, consider hiring a professional if you want a high-definition video of the proceeding that’s synced and transcribed. A court video reporting service can record the proceedings for you and transcribe them. It can make it easier for you and your legal experts to analyze certain information. It can also be used as digital evidence for future proceedings.
Make sure you have a way to record the proceedings so you can go back and review them later. It’s imperative that the outcome of the proceeding will significantly impact your life.
Get Your Documents in Order
The next thing you should do is get your documents in order. This includes any evidence you plan to present during the online court proceeding.
If you’re going to be presenting documents, make sure that you have digital copies of them. It’s also a good idea to have physical copies just in case of technical difficulties with the digital copies.
You should also ensure that you have all the contact information for the people involved in the proceedings. It includes your witnesses’ names, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Getting your documents in order will help the proceedings go smoothly and ensure you have everything you need.
Prepare Yourself Emotionally and Mentally
Last, you should prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for the online court proceeding. This might be the most important thing on this list.
If you’re not prepared, the proceedings can be overwhelming and stressful. It can impact your ability to think clearly and make decisions.
To prepare yourself, consider attending a support group or meeting with a therapist. Support groups have been known to alleviate stress without spending money on a therapist. You can also talk to friends and family members who have been through similar experiences.
Preparing yourself emotionally and mentally will help you get through the online court proceeding and make the best decisions for your case.
The five things we’ve mentioned are just a few of the many things you should do before your online court proceeding. Following these tips will make you better prepared and have a smoother experience.