SACRAMENTO, Calif. (July 10, 2023): The California Lawyers Association (CLA) applauds Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to sign legislation that extends the sunset of remote civil proceedings in California to January 1, 2026.
Since 2021, CLA has strongly and consistently advocated in support of legislation that would ensure that remote civil proceedings continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, when emergency rules were adopted that provided temporary authorization for remote proceedings in the courts. For reasons that range from increased accessibility, efficiency, and effectiveness – for attorneys and their clients – CLA will advocate making the decision permanent.
“We have seen the tremendous benefit of innovation in providing the option to participate remotely in court proceedings, including decreased costs to the litigants and increased access to justice,” said Jeremy M. Evans, President of the California Lawyers Association. “Among other benefits, remote access provides more options for working parents, caregivers, and others to participate in proceedings by avoiding travel costs and significant time commitments associated with in-person court appearances. Remote access more cost-effective and efficient for the lawyers, thereby reducing the costs to their clients, providing an important option for attorneys and clients alike.”
The legislation was signed on June 30, 2023, and went into effect immediately. The legislation extends existing law under which a party has the option to appear remotely in civil conferences, hearings, and proceedings in California, in whole or in part, if appropriate notice is given (subject to specified restrictions). The legislation exempts certain types of proceedings from the provisions governing civil cases generally and creates new provisions for these other types of proceedings, including proceedings regarding the involuntary treatment and conservatorships of gravely disabled persons, contempt proceedings, competency proceedings, and juvenile justice proceedings.
“We applaud efforts to make the justice system more streamlined and user friendly across the board,” said Oyango A. Snell, CEO & Executive Director of the California Lawyers Association. “And we won’t stop here. Our continuing goal is to advocate to make remote civil proceedings permanent in California. We look forward to reviewing the annual reports that will be required from the superior courts and the Judicial Council to assess the impact of technology issues or problems affecting remote proceedings and purchases and leases of technology or equipment to facilitate remote conferences, hearings, or proceedings.”
About California Lawyers Association
Established in 2018 and headquartered in Sacramento, California Lawyers Association is the statewide voluntary bar association for all California attorneys. CLA’s mission is to promote excellence, diversity, and inclusion in the legal profession and fairness in the administration of justice and the rule of law. Visit us at www.calawyers.org to learn more about CLA or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
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Media Contact: Traci Rockefeller Cusack at 916-213-4373 or firstname.lastname@example.org