(INDIANAPOLIS) – For the first time in its history, the Indiana Supreme Court will hold oral arguments using videoconferencing when it hears cases in May. This will honor social distancing during the ongoing public health emergency caused by COVID-19.
Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush explained, “Trial court judges across the state are adjusting operations to hear cases remotely. The Supreme Court has also kept our docket moving by holding conferences each week and will be hearing oral arguments using videoconferencing. Our appellate clerk’s office continues to accept e-filings, the Court is meeting remotely several times a week, and we are regularly handing down orders and opinions.”
Cases will be heard on Thursday, May 14 starting at 9 a.m. EDT. The first case will be Tammi Clark, as Rep. of Estate of Kandace Pyles v. Samer Mattar, M.D.The second case, Brandon Lawrence Johnson v. State of Indiana, is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
Six more cases are scheduled for remote oral argument on May 21 and May 27. See more information online.
Supreme Court justices and attorneys will interact with each other using Zoom web conferencing software. The resulting video and audio will be available to the press and the public on the Court’s existing live-stream website.
The Office of Judicial Administration will work with attorneys in advance of oral arguments to help them set up their Zoom connection with the Court. Under this arrangement, each of the justices and the lawyers will be in separate locations that are videoconferenced together for the usual question and answer interplay during arguments.
The Indiana Supreme Court first began live-streaming oral arguments in 2001. There are more than 1100 archived online. The Court also holds arguments in communities across the state (like schools) and webcasts those arguments. Last year the Court received 869 cases and heard 49 arguments. More information about the Court and the judicial branch response to COVID-19 can be found online.