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Remote Oral Arguments


If video oral argument has been requested, the Court intends to use Zoom to allow the judges and attorneys to appear remotely to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Please remember that, even though it will be held remotely, this is your oral argument.  You should give it the same attention you would if you were appearing in a courtroom.  You do not need to stand for your argument but, generally, you should not do anything during your video conference oral argument that you would not do in the courtroom.  If you would like to download a virtual background to use during your oral argument, this picture offers the judges' view from the bench in the courtroom in Summit County.



Information about Zoom


If you have not used Zoom, you can visit Zoom's video tutorial to learn more about how to join a meeting.  Starting in June 2020, the Court began using Zoom Webinar so that the arguments are also available to the public to watch live (in addition to be recorded and posted on the Court's YouTube Channel).


The link will be emailed to the people who will present oral argument.  That link can be shared with others who wish to attend the video oral argument.  The information will also be available through a link on the Court's Oral Argument Calendar, usually the day before the oral argument.


After clicking on the link, Zoom will ask for a name and email address.  Those who will argue should enter their full name (as they want the judges to see it).  Those who will only watch the argument do not need to enter their full names; a first name or initials are sufficient.  Zoom also requires an email address.  The Court will not gather or record names and email addresses of attendees, but attendees must complete this information (although the email address does not need to be a valid email address for that attendee).


In a webinar, the judges will join the oral argument as what Zoom refers to as "Presenters" while those who will argue or watch the arguments will join as "Attendees."  Attendees are able to watch, but their video does not appear on the screen.


When it is time for the argument to begin, the bailiff will change the people who will present oral argument from attendees to presenters, their video will appear along with the judges, and they will be able to present the oral argument.  At the conclusion of the argument, the bailiff will return them to attendee status, where they can exit the webinar or they can remain and watch the next argument.


To use Zoom on your computer, phone, or tablet, you will need to install an app.  You can find the app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store on your device.  You can also find links to downloads at the Zoom Download Center.



Tips for a successful oral argument


The internet is filled with tips about how to successfully participate in a Zoom meeting.  A quick search will reveal many sites with suggestions about where to position your camera (at to slightly above your eye level), be aware of what is behind you (use a virtual background if you want to hide your walls), and mute your microphone when it is not your turn to speak.  Please enter your name when you join the meeting, so that the judges can see your name rather than the name of your device (like "Linda's iPad" or "Dad's iPhone").



How to get started


Getting started with Zoom is easy, as you can see in the Zoom video tutorial. 


You will need the Zoom app on your phone or table to connect. If you connect with a computer, you will be prompted to install a browser plug-in. After the install, you do not need to do anything with it again to join a meeting.


You do not need to create a Zoom account to present your oral argument.  You can join a meeting or webinar without creating an account.



What you should expect


The Court will send you an email with a link to join the webinar.  When you tap on the link on your phone or tablet, you may initially see the internet browser and be asked “Open this page in “Zoom”?” You should select “Open”.


Once Zoom opens, if you are asked, you should select Join with Video. You will then be connected to the meeting and asked another question about joining audio. You should select “Call using Internet Audio” which means that you will hear audio and see video through your device rather than calling a phone number to hear audio.


You will now be connected and held in a waiting room.  When the judges are ready for your argument, the webinar will begin and you will be able to see the judges.  The bailiff will admit the people who will argue to the virtual courtroom.  The Presiding Judge will recognize that you are in the courtroom and make sure you are ready to proceed.  When you are not speaking, please mute your microphone to limit background noise.


Depending on the device you are using, you will have an option to use Speaker View or Gallery View.  Speaker View focuses only on the speaker, causing the speaker to take up almost all of the space on the screen.  Gallery View, on the other hand, shows all of the participants so that you can see the judges and other attorney.



The oral argument videos should be posted on YouTube, but it might take longer


The Court intends to continue to post videos of the oral arguments on the Court's YouTube Channel.  The process may take longer to create and post the video, but, so far, the video has been posted within a couple of hours after the last oral argument of the day.