Participating Remotely by Zoom
The Court is using Zoom for attorneys and parties who want to appear for court remotely in all civil case types. Below are the links to the Local Rule of Court for remote appearances and guidelines for evidence submission and the Zoom meeting information for each department:
In most cases, you must notify the court and all other parties that you intend to appear remotely using form RA-010. If you intend to appear remotely, you must also submit and serve your evidence prior to the scheduled date as provided in the Local Rule.
Remote appearance information should be reviewed regularly due to location and information changes that may occur. Use this information to determine department location when a judge is absent.
Any recording of a court proceeding held by video or teleconference, including "screen-shots" or other audio or visual copying of a proceeding, is absolutely prohibited consistenct with the California Rules of Court, rule 1.150.
Case Participants Appearing Through Zoom
Attorneys, witnesses, parties, etc., ("participants") appearing through Zoom in a court proceeding should follow the guidelines below. Adequate preparation and testing of the application are required to ensure a positive experience for everyone involved.
For tips on how to prepare for your remote Zoom appearance and how to log on, please see our two handouts.
Zoom Account and Software
Participants should set up a Zoom account and download the software
- If you do not already have a Zoom account, set one up at https://zoom.us. A paid Zoom account is not necessary for any interaction with the court.
- Log onto https://zoom.us/profile and set your name, phone and email. Uploading a photograph will help to identify you when connecting.
- Install the latest Zoom Client for Meetings at https://zoom.us/download. Although Zoom can be used in a browser only, it is not ideal for participating with the court. The full Zoom Client is required for best functionality and best experience with the system.
- Always keep your software up to date. The Zoom Client automatically updates itself upon launching the software, but you can also update it manually.
Before Every Court Session Using Zoom
All equipment and the Zoom application should be tested and working before court begins
- Connect your device to power.
- Make sure your internet connection is good.
- Test your video.
- Test your audio.
- Turn off all audio disruptions (phones, messaging alerts, email alerts, etc.).
- Run a quick test to connect with another Zoom user, or use the Zoom test.
As Zoom software evolves, certain aspects or features may change. Below are a few settings recommended by the court to improve your video conference.
- General: Ask me to confirm when I leave a meeting: ON (Helps prevent unintended departures)
- Video: Enable HD: OFF (Helps prevent poor video performance, and usually looks just as good as HD)
- Video: Always display participant names on their video: ON
- Video: Always show video preview dialog when joining a video meeting: ON (Final check before your video displays to others)
- Mute your phone, and mute all sounds from all other applications (notifications, chat messaging, etc.).
- Avoid using a mobile device if possible. Although tablets and smartphones can be used, they are very limited, and the performance is inferior.
- Avoid using battery power only (laptops, etc.). Plug into a good power source while in a Zoom meeting.
- Avoid using an open microphone and speakers, such as those built-into laptops or a webcams. Using a good quality headset will often help ensure you can be heard, and can hear others with maximum quality.
- Headsets (headphones with built-in "boom" microphone) prevent feedback, echo, and poor audio in the courtroom. Headsets with a "boom mic" placed close to your mouth are strongly preferred, and will help clarity when speaking through a mask.
- All types of headsets are acceptable (1-ear or 2-ear, over-ear, in-ear, etc.), and can often be purchased at low cost. Wired headsets are strongly recommended due to their ease of use and reliability.
- Wireless (Bluetooth) headsets can be unreliable and ear-bud style headsets (with the mic on the cord) may be too sensitive and can cause echo problems.
- Avoid noisy and echoing locations. Use of a headset will improve audio quality when this is unavoidable.
- Avoid distracting real or virtual backgrounds. Suitable example.
- Avoid poor camera positioning. Try to frame yourself so your face is centered and takes up most of the screen area.
- For the best connection, a hard-wire ethernet cable is fastest and most reliable. If you are in close range to a strong WiFi signal, that is also acceptable. Cellular service is usually the weakest and least reliable connection and should be avoided.
- Avoid running any unnecessary applications besides Zoom, to conserve your computer's processing power and networking.
- For home networks, if possible, avoid sharing your internet service with others during the session.
The court often uses the audio, video, and breakout room functionality of Zoom. Other functions commonly used are chat and screen sharing. You should learn the basics of participating in a Zoom meeting and consult the resources below to learn how to use these features.