Oral Argument Via FaceTime

I’ve written before about how the judges on the Second District Court of Appeal have pretty thoroughly incorporated the use of iPads into their decision making process. But this week, that integration hit a higher level. A colleague reported to me that this week, one of the judges on the Second District Court of Appeal was ill for his scheduled Oral Argument panel at the Tampa courtroom, so the Judge participated from home via FaceTime on his iPad. An iPad was set up in the judge’s place on the bench, and the judge presumably used either his iPad or computer with webcam at home to have his face on the screen. My colleague reported that the judge did not have any questions during his oral argument presentation, but did ask a question remotely for one of the attorneys on another case.

This seems like an elegant solution to the problem. After all of the time the judge had no doubt put into preparing for argument, it would have been a shame to miss it, or leave the panel short. After all of the time the parties had put into preparing for this panel, it would have been a waste of both party and judicial resources to re-schedule the argument and force everyone to come back up to speed at a later date. This way, the germs stayed home, the judge didn’t have to drag himself to Tampa, and yet the show could go on.

The future is now.

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