The Daily Journal | California Lawyer
Arbitration During A Global Pandemic: How to Properly Leverage Zoom and Similar Platforms to Conduct Arbitration Hearings
September 11, 2020
By Daniel B. Garrie & Hon. Gail Andler
Traditionally, arbitrations, like trials, involve having all parties, attorneys, witnesses and arbitrators present together in the same room. COVID-19 has changed that. Platforms such as Zoom are being used more and more to conduct remote arbitration hearings. As this migration continues, counsel must be mindful of some “best practices” related to remote arbitration hearings. This article outlines a basic checklist designed for the convenience of counsel in furtherance of their meet and confer obligations in anticipation of scheduled remote arbitration hearings.
Platform Selection and Schedule Development
First, parties must identify a platform (e.g., Zoom) which will be the presumptive platform used for the arbitration hearing, absent any other orders by the arbitrator. The platform must provide (a) robust confidentiality protections, (b) high-resolution video and quality audio of participants, (c) a function to enable subgroups of participants (e.g., claimants or respondents and their attorneys) to meet by themselves during recesses, and (d) an option which enables participants to display documents on the screen, allowing a cursor to point to selected portions of the document without completely obscuring the video images of the other participants.
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