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Court sets more remote oral arguments for June

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Florida Supreme CourtAfter holding its first-ever “virtual” arguments May 6, the Supreme Court will hold three more days of oral arguments using remote video teleconferencing when it hears cases in June.

The next round of cases will be argued on June 2, 3, and 4 starting at 9 a.m. Eastern Time each day. Fourteen cases currently are scheduled over the three days.

The historic May 6 arguments were widely viewed as a success. Under this new remote system, justices and attorneys interact with each other using Zoom teleconferencing software.

The resulting video and audio then are securely combined by staff and distributed to the press and the public on the court’s existing livestream feeds, which include a Facebook Live channel. This system allows broad worldwide public access while minimizing security problems associated with public teleconferencing.

As it did in May, the clerk’s office will work with attorneys in advance of oral arguments to help them set up their own Zoom connections. Each of the justices and the lawyers will be in separate locations that are teleconferenced together for live questions and answers.

The Supreme Court has a long history of using technology to make its proceedings widely available to the public. It began livestreaming its oral arguments on the web from start to finish starting in 1997 and was the first appellate court in the nation to routinely broadcast its arguments on Facebook Live, starting in January 2018.

The switch to remote technology is a major change for the state’s highest court. For 175 years since statehood, the Florida Supreme Court always has heard arguments with attorneys and judges together in the same room. It is a tradition that dates to early English law, which Florida adopted as the basis for its own legal system when it became a state in 1845.

At the present time, June argument schedules remain tentative and subject to change. Cases scheduled as of May 13 are:

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Thursday, June 4, 2020

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