An unexpected and serendipitous benefit of the Covid-19 pandemic was the way it fundamentally changed how courts operate. Suddenly judges, lawyers, and litigants could participate in court proceedings remotely.
Though intended as public health and safety measures, remote proceedings have profoundly increased access to courts. Participation no longer requires taking time off work, arranging child care and transportation. Remote proceedings also increased judicial efficiency and made lawyer participation more affordable.
Many states have adopted statewide uniform policies on which types of proceedings should be presumptively held remotely. Others have chosen less uniformity in favor of more judicial autonomy.
This report and recommendation surveys the benefit and challenges of remote court proceedings, analyzes other states' approaches post-pandemic, and makes recommendations for the Colorado Judicial Department's consideration moving forward.