With the extension of “Stay at Home” orders due to the growing pandemic, many courts have moved to teleconferencing and digital operations. Here are some helpful tips for clients who are preparing for their upcoming teleconference hearing.
WHAT TO KNOW
Approximately 15 to 30 minutes before your scheduled deposition or hearing, a Pond Lehocky attorney will call you to prepare and go over what to expect in the upcoming call. They will answer any questions and ensure the event goes smoothly.
About two minutes before the start of your scheduled event, call the provided conference call-in information and enter the conference ID to join the hearing or deposition. Please call this conference number a minute or two before the scheduled start time of your event. If you are confused about this, please ask your attorney during the prep time.
If you are in a deposition: you will be participating with your Pond Lehocky attorney, the employer/insurance carrier’s attorney, and a court reporter. Remember, you will be under oath. The court reporter will be writing down everything that is said, which creates a transcript record that the Judge will read.
In a hearing, you will be participating with your Pond Lehocky attorney, the workers’ compensation Judge assigned to your case, along with the employer/insurance carrier’s attorney, and a court reporter. Again, you will be under oath, and the court reporter will be writing down everything that is said, which creates a transcript record.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A TELEPHONE HEARING
Attending your hearing over the phone is different than going to the courthouse. To ensure your deposition or hearing goes as smoothly as possible, we recommend the following:
- About 10 minutes prior to the time of your scheduled event, find a quiet space in your home. The court reporter is transcribing what is being said and must be able to hear your answers clearly.
- If you are using a cell phone, make sure you are in a place with good cell reception. Also, keep your phone fully charged as your hearing or deposition could last up to 90 minutes.
- Do not participate in your hearing or deposition while driving.
- Do not take other calls or answer text messages during your hearing or deposition.
- Avoid unnecessary background noise, such as children, pets, television, etc.
- Use your handset and not the speaker phone. This will help the Judge, court report and other parties hear you better.
- Do not interrupt. The court reporter can only take down one voice at a time. Wait for the attorney to finish asking you the question before answering. Listen to each question in its entirety before answering.
- Do not answer a question if you are unsure if you heard it correctly. Ask for clarification or for the question to be repeated.
- Answer the specific question being asked. Please do not go off subject. Rest assured, your attorney will follow up with any other necessary questions.
- Be honest, do not exaggerate. Be as specific about how you were injured, your treatment, your symptoms and limitations as possible. Give examples.
- Stay calm and be courteous.
If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to your attorney. The situation is ever-changing, so we appreciate your patience as we continue to work for you remotely. We will share any new information about the pandemic and how it may impact your case via email and on our website. We hope that you are staying safe and well.