Fear and danger, not words we want associated with our judicial processes, are two words punctuating recent articles detailing the unintended consequences and attendant uncertainty accompanying virtual court. The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and countless other newspapers have consistently reported on the ongoing difficulty of virtual court proceedings both in this country and abroad in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Brennan Center for Justice has cautioned that courts must not jeopardize justice in their effort to protect public health. Nearly every jurisdiction has taken steps to encourage or require judges to hold at least some of their proceedings by telephone or video conference. While courts, including those within our state of Connecticut, are beginning to reopen, courts and court observers are assessing the havoc wrought by the pandemic, a chaos made all the more acute by decades of chronic underfunding felt nationwide.
Originally published in Family Law Quarterly, Volume 54 No.3.
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