State Senator Tom Umberg’s office is seeking CLA’s feedback on our members’ experience with litigation during COVID in general and remote proceedings in particular. Last year’s Senate Bill No. 241 (Umberg) created the statutory framework for remote proceedings in civil cases, now contained in Code of Civil Procedure section 367.75. SB 241 contained a July 1, 2023 sunset. A pending bill, SB 848 (Umberg), would eliminate the sunset, allowing the remote proceedings provisions to continue indefinitely. It’s also possible that some potential changes to these provisions will be considered, and that’s why your input would be greatly appreciated.
The CLA is collecting experience with remote proceedings and witness appearances, including (1) what is working; (2) what is not working, and why; (3) how the statute and Judicial Council’s implementing Rule of Court 3.672 are being interpreted and applied to actual situations; and (4) anything else that might be helpful in evaluating remote proceedings beyond COVID.
When providing your experience, it would be most helpful to know (1) the specific court (to assist in determining whether any issues are isolated or widespread, as different counties are dealing with issues in different ways); (2) the type or proceeding (non-evidentiary, evidentiary, bench trial, jury trial, etc.); (3) how specific witness issues are being addressed, including any requirement to appear in-person; (4) whether issues have arisen in connection with notice of a remote proceeding for an evidentiary hearing or trial and any opposition filed in response; (5) court reporter or court interpreter issues; and (6) any other issues surrounding unique circumstances that have arisen. We are also collecting experience with remote depositions in the event changes are considered in that area.
Please send any responses to Chris Fredrich (firstname.lastname@example.org), Chair of the CLA Litigation Section’s Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ). The CAJ studies and makes recommendations on proposed changes in civil procedure, court rules, rules of evidence, and other matters having an impact on the administration of justice in California’s civil courts. CAJ has immediate openings and encourages new members to apply. Please contact Chris Fredrich (email@example.com) for more information.