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Court to hold May oral arguments using remote teleconferencing

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Cases on the docket include medical and recreational marijuana

Florida Supreme CourtFor the first time in its history, the Florida Supreme Court will hold oral arguments using remote video teleconferencing when it hears cases in May.

This will honor social distancing during the ongoing public health emergency caused by coronavirus.

Cases will be heard on May 6 starting at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. They will include legal questions about existing medical marijuana regulations (Florida Department of Health v. Florigrown LLC) and about a proposed citizens’ initiative to legalize recreational marijuana use (Advisory Opinion to the Attorney General: Adult Use of Marijuana).

Justices and attorneys will interact with each other using Zoom teleconferencing software. The resulting video and audio will be available to the press and the public on the court’s existing livestream feeds, which include a Facebook Live channel.

The clerk’s office will work with attorneys in advance of oral arguments to help them set up their own Zoom connections. Under this arrangement, each of the justices and the lawyers will be in separate locations that are teleconferenced together for the usual interactive questions and answers of court arguments.

The Florida Supreme Court has a long history of using technology to make its proceedings widely available to the public. It began livestreaming its oral arguments 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 early 2018.

 

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