As a family law attorney, I often have clients in a Florida matter that reside outside of the state. I recommend that clients attend their hearings in person, as it gives the judge a face to match with a voice (humanizing the client) and it allows the client to see non-verbal cues from the judge, opposing counsel, or myself. However, there are times when an out-of-state client cannot make it to a hearing; for these times I often request that the client appear by telephone, and the judge usually grants the request.
Some of the family law judges of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (covering Hillsborough County) have announced that they are now equipped and prepared to use Skype in the Courtroom for those clients who cannot appear in person. This program allows the client to participate in a hearing via webcam. Though I still recommend that clients appear in person whenever possible, this technology gives a great alternative.
The following family law judges have posted procedures for Skype:
- Division B – The Honorable Paul L. Huey;
- Division C – The Honorable Catherine M. Catlin; and
- Division E – The Honorable Samantha L Ward.
Below is an announcement for the technology posted on Judge Ward’s profile: