Be well prepared and very organized. Read the many guides available on virtual hearings. Use an external service offered by a specialised vendor for very large or technologically complicated hearings (e.g. involving simultaneous translation).
Preparation and guidance
- Carefully consider how to conduct the hearing as authentically as possible.
- Give participants clear guidance on the technical aspects and digital etiquette, including on such details as lighting and eye contact. Do not be afraid to micromanage.
- Should the camera be on at all times?
- Should counsel sit with the witness?
More to consider in advance:
- Provide participants with a detailed agenda well in advance.
- Keep in mind that the pace of a virtual hearing is slower than an in-person hearing.
- Allow for more breaks and keep the days shorter.
- Include time for technical issues.
Safe up the tech
- Make sure everyone has access to the documents and knows how to locate relevant sections.
- Test run the hearing platform, individually and as a group, and ensure everyone knows the relevant functions (e.g. mute, video, presentation).
- Have an IT-expert on standby.
- Have a back-up plan.