Recently I decided to serve as a visiting judge – which is a judge appointed to fill in when the permanent judge is absent. Covid has created havoc in many courts and have prevented jury trials and slowed the wheels of justice. Many judges have tried to be creative in conducting hearings in order to keep their dockets from backlogging even further. Recently, I was appointed to serve as a visiting judge for some hearings on the following Tuesday, but on the Sunday before, I was diagnosed with Covid! Uh Oh! What was I going to do, and more importantly what was the sitting judge going to do to move those cases I had been assigned to hear? No problem! As I worked with the Coordinator for the Regional Judge (who makes visiting judge assignments) and the Court Coordinator for the specific court, they said if I felt ok to conduct the hearings they could be conducted by Zoom! On Tuesday morning, from my home office computer, (dealing with my case of Covid!), the parties and court reporter “Zoomed” in, and we conducted the hearings!
Sometimes technology greatly frustrates us, but in this instance, technology was a great blessing and allowed justice to proceed!