Monday, September 30, 2013
Most temporary matters are conducted in the judge's chambers and no witnesses testify. At a status hearing or a case management conference, the attorneys discuss pending issues and work out timetables or set future hearing dates. Why can't all of these hearings be conducted by phone? Court is expensive for clients, particularly when they need to pay their attorneys for transportation time. From my estimation, 80% of all court could be conducted by phone, with appropriate documents circulated in advance via e-mail. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge could enter the appropriate order and send it to the attorneys. Thousands of dollars in legal fees could be saved and attorneys could be more efficient, avoiding the unnecessary busy work of getting to the courthouse and waiting around. Also, the judges would save time and be able to schedule matters around their schedules, rather than being beholden to specific motion calls. This seems like a win-win-win to me. Nothing is perfect but this is an idea worth considering.