By Opatola Victor Esq.
Just recently, I made history as one of the first crop of lawyers to participate in an online court proceeding in Nigeria. It was quite an experience, albeit the fact that it went smoothly without hitches; unlike the many false narratives perpetuated in the media against online Court proceedings.
Change is the only constant thing, moreover a positive one.
Below are certain etiquettes that should be observed by lawyers and participants in an online court proceeding. Abiding by these etiquettes will go a long way in ensuring a hitch free court proceeding.
1. Download the zoom or online application.
2. Test your video and audio before the time and date fixed for the online court proceedings. Test it first, and don’t constitute yourself into a bull in China shop during the proceeding. If it is zoom, you can test it at www. Zoom.us/test.
4. Position your camera rightly, considering light, distractions and noise. Although it is online, but it is still a court and certain decorum are expected.
5. Check to ensure you have enough or more than enough data. There are very little things as bad as your network telling you that you have exhausted your data in the middle of an online court proceeding.
6. Stable internet connection. Trust me, an unstable internet connection is a headache.
7. Request for your zoom meeting I.D or password before the time fixed for hearing.
8. Be ready to join the Online Court proceedings at least 5 minutes before the time scheduled.
9. Always mention your name every time you are addressing the court .
10. Online conference drain device battery very fast. Ensure you have a back up power plan.
11. Put your picture on your profile.
12. Include your name on your profile and the name of your case, and signify if you appear for the defendant or claimant.
13. Upon joining the Online Court proceeding, check the other participants in the proceedings. Ensure you see their names and faces.
14. A red diagonal line showing over a microphone symbol is telling you that the audio is mute and you can’t be heard by other participants.
15. Always mute your phone every time you are not addressing the court.
16. Dress code. Lawyers must be fully robed, with wig and gown.
17. You can use external audio aid or earpiece if you so prefer.
18. To show all the participants any document on your phone or device, click on shared screen.
19. Make sure you have the Court registrars number on standby incase you run into any difficulty and you need him/her to draw the attention of the Court.
20. Leave the online proceeding immediately you are done.
Opatola Victor Esq.
09041815408 , 07069687425