As a family law attorney, I often have clients in a Florida matter that reside outside of the state. I recommend that clients attend their hearings in person, as it gives the judge a face to match with a voice (humanizing the client) and it allows the client to see non-verbal cues from the judge, opposing counsel, or myself. However, there are times when an out-of-state client cannot make it to a hearing; for these times I often request that the client appear by telephone, and the judge usually grants the request.
Some of the family law judges of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (covering Hillsborough County) have announced that they are now equipped and prepared to use Skype in the Courtroom for those clients who cannot appear in person. This program allows the client to participate in a hearing via webcam. Though I still recommend that clients appear in person whenever possible, this technology gives a great alternative.
The following family law judges have posted procedures for Skype:
- Division B – The Honorable Paul L. Huey;
- Division C – The Honorable Catherine M. Catlin; and
- Division E – The Honorable Samantha L Ward.
Below is an announcement for the technology posted on Judge Ward’s profile:
*** NEW ***
SKYPE HAS ARRIVED!
‘Skype’ video conferencing technology is now available in our courtroom. A party, attorney or a witness who lives over 100 miles from Tampa or a local witness or expert upon which both parties agree may appear by Skype may contact Judge Ward’s Judicial Assistant to arrange for same. You MUST inform the Judicial Assistant by e-mail of your desire to use Skype and the other party’s agreement to same. Any witness appearing by Skype MUST contact the Judicial Assistant at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing to arrange the set-up connection. Please note Skype will NOT be available at case management conferences or on the Open Docket as the courtroom may be too full to accommodate this.
If you have questions regarding divorce or child custody and you are looking to retain a Tampa Bay family law attorney, you may schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A. by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.