October 13, 2020
On September 18, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom approved CA SB 1146, CIVIL PROCEDURE RE: E-filing, delays of trial, and remote depositions. State law that enacted several emergency actions, such as allowing remote depositions of party witnesses, taken during these past few months due to the COVID-19 Pandemic by Gov. Newsom and state court leaders has been approved permanently. SB 1146 permanently allows remote video depositions and electronic service of process. Rather than face-to-face, in-person depositions, the presence of attorneys of record, parties to a case, or court reporters are now optional at depositions.
The CA Judicial Council today enacted emergency rules referencing civil practice. One that allows for remote depositions to proceed upon the election of the deponent or the deposing party without the court reporter being present with the witness.
Emergency Rule 11. Depositions through remote electronic means
Notwithstanding any other law, including Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.310(a) and (b), and rule 3.1010(c) and (d), a party or nonparty deponent, at their election or the election of the deposing party, is not required to be present with the deposition officer at the time of the deposition.
4/2/2020 – Updated Executive order Notice: PRESIDING JUDGE KEVIN C. BRAZILE:
TIME DEADLINES FOR ARRAIGNMENTS, PRELIMINARY
HEARINGS AND TRIALS EXTENDED
Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order on Judicial Council Emergency Authority
Order would enable California Chief Justice to take emergency actions for the state’s courts to be able to conduct business during the COVID-19 pandemic
SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to enhance the authority of California’s Judicial Branch to take emergency action in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
Specifically, the executive order empowers the Judicial Council and the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court to take necessary action to be able to conduct business and continue to operate while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order does not affect any existing court order or rule.
The order allows the Judicial Branch to allow for remote depositions in every case (the law had previously required that parties be deposed in person) and electronic service of process. Additionally, the order leaves the Judicial Branch discretion to make any modifications to legal practice and procedure it deems necessary in order to continue conducting business.
“Our courts need to continue to do their business for the sake of the law and public safety, and to the extent they are able to, and it is my responsibility to do everything I can to give the Judicial Council and the Chief Justice the flexibility they need to take actions to meet this moment,” said Governor Newsom.
The California Constitution establishes the Judicial Council as the supreme administrative and rulemaking body for California’s courts.
A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here, and the text of the order can be found here.
Learn more about the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here. Visit covid19.ca.gov for critical steps Californians can take to stay healthy, and resources available to those impacted by the outbreak.
ADDITIONAL CHANGES IN SPRING AND MOSK
Judge Brazile has ordered all Civil courtrooms in the Mosk and Spring Street courthouses closed, with the exception of four courtrooms in Mosk (1, 20, 72, and 74). Attached is the roster of the four courtrooms that will be hearing ex partes during the emergency period and which courtrooms they will cover. Ex partes in Complex will be handled remotely by Judge Nelson.
If parties or attorneys appear in Spring today, they will be directed to Mosk.
To all our valued clients:
Businesses across the country are facing the challenge of how to adapt given current public health conditions. To address COVID-19 (Coronavirus) concerns and provide alternatives that allow for less travel and proper social distancing, we remind you that iDepo provides the option for remote or telephonic depositions so that you can continue to conduct your depositions as usual without the need to appear in person.
Our remote deposition options will provide a secure, live feed to anywhere in the country. Three options are available:
- Videoconference Using Your Own Equipment: Use your own equipment (cell phones, tablets or computers (laptop or desktop) with a webcam – we will provide the connection for others to attend.
- Telephonic Deposition: Use your own telephone (cell, home, or office), receive a dedicated call-in number with a passcode.
- Videoconference In Our Office: The deponent may come to our offices (either in El Segundo, California or in Honolulu, Hawaii) and we will videoconference or teleconference all other parties in. The deponent will be sworn in at the office and his/her counsel may choose to attend. (Note that the health and safety of our reporters, clients, friends and colleagues is of paramount importance, so please ensure that any visitors are symptom-free and have not traveled from affected areas within the 14 days prior to the deposition. We also observe daily sanitation schedules in our office and will keep outside visitors to a minimum during your deposition.)
To schedule with us, please call 323-393-3768 or email email@example.com.
We wish you, your family and your loved ones continued good health, and are happy to partner with you to achieve this!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESIDING JUDGE KEVIN C. BRAZILE ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO COURT OPERATIONS
In response to concerns regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19, and in light of local, state and federal emergency declarations based upon the virus, Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, announced March 13, the following recommendations to all judges and commissioners of the Court. Effective Monday, March 16, 2020:
1. All new Civil jury trials should be continued for at least 30 days and all preference jury trials should be continued for at least 15 days;
2. All Criminal jury trials, where statutory time has been waived, should be continued for at least 30 days; and
3. Limit new jury panel requests within the next 30 days due to concerns about juror availability.
The Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court does not have the authority to close the courts in the event of a pandemic, which is what we are facing now, because such emergency orders must be authorized by the Chief Justice and/or Governor. Courts are less akin to schools and more like hospitals and other emergency services that need to stay open to serve the public at all times. We are slowing down our trial court operations in a reasonable and responsible way, while still providing services that protect public health, welfare and safety.
The Court is committed to ensuring access to justice while also promoting a safe environment for all court users and staff.
For the latest updates on Coronavirus/COVID-19-related impacts to Court operations, please consult the Court’s COVID-19 News Center located at the top of our homepage (www.lacourt.org), and follow us on Twitter (@LASuperiorCourt).
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