Poll of judges finds Zoom to be the most popular platform for pandemic-caused remote court hearings

RENO, Nev. (May 20, 2020) — Zoom and WebEx are far and away the platforms being used most often for remote court hearings during the COVID-19 crisis, a national survey of judges found.

Zoom received 48 percent of the vote and WexEx 25 percent.

The unscientific poll was taken earlier this month by The National Judicial College, the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely attended school for judges. The College emailed the survey question to its more than 12,000 judicial alumni nationally and received 702 responses.

Here’s how other platforms finished in the survey: Skype (9.69%), Microsoft Teams (9.12%), GoToMeeting (6.13%), Google Hangouts (3.85%), BlueJeans (3.56%), CourtCall (3.13%), Adobe Connect (0.14%), and Other (10.54%).

Several judges reported that Zoom had streamlined operations and they plan to continue using the service even after social distancing requirements have been lifted.

Some of the featured mentioned positively:

  • The “waiting room” feature that limits admission to meetings
  • Recordability, which can create copies of hearings for court files
  • Break-out rooms for confidential counsel
  • Greater access to the justice system overall

A full summary of the results, including judges’ comments, can be found here.

Each month the NJC emails a one-question survey to more than 12,000 judges nationally who have attended its courses for new and experienced judges. The poll often asks their opinion on an issue of the day.

Created more than a half-century ago at the recommendation of a U.S. Supreme Court justice, The National Judicial College remains the only educational institution in the United States that teaches courtroom skills to judges of all types from all over the country, Indian Country and abroad. The categories of judges served by this nonprofit and nonpartisan institution, based in Reno since 1964, decide more than 95 percent of the cases in the United States.

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