What to Expect/Basic flow of a trial:
The Judge will start by reviewing some preliminary information. He will then ask the Plaintiff’s attorney (Josh or Blythe) to provide some basic information. As appropriate we will call you as a witness or ask you questions. If it is a trial, you will be sworn in and we will question you. After we complete our questions the other side (attorney or individual representing him/herself) will be able to ask you questions. After we complete our presentation of evidence by having all our witnesses testify, the other side has a chance to present their evidence. We are allowed to question their witnesses. When the other side completes their presentation there may be brief “closing arguments” where the attorney reviews the evidence and the law for the judge to argue our point; the other side can do the same. The judge in some cases will issue a ruling right then and there. Other times the judge will take the matter under advisement and provide the ruling via mail.
- Ensure there is no background noise when you log onto a zoom hearing.
- Mute yourself until asked to speak.
- Please remember zoom court is court so remove your hat and ensure your background is appropriate if your camera is on.
- Don’t snack or engage in any behavior you would do in the court room in person.
- For a trial if you can turn on a camera that is helpful if you have simple quiet background; movement is distracting.
- If asking a question on zoom is absolutely necessary, please say, “This is the owner/manager, may I speak with my attorney?” The clerk can then place us in a separate zoom room for a brief discussion.
- Feel free to email Josh or Blythe if you are the zoom waiting room to let us know you are there. The clerk does sometimes forget to add you to a hearing. We will of course let the judge know you are available and simply need to be added to the court session, so you don’t miss the big moment.
Both Zoom and In Person
- In court it is always important whether on Zoom or in person to be well groomed and appropriately dressed.
- Silence you cell phone in the court room.
- Do not interrupt the judge unless the case is to be dismissed.
- Direct your questions to the attorney. (If on zoom you can email us questions during the hearing.)
- When answering questions be direct and concise. We will ask you to expand as needed.
- When answering questions from the other side (attorney or other party) be concise and direct. We will follow up and ask you to further explain if needed. (Don’t worry if your answer doesn’t sound “good.”)
- Don’t offer information not asked for by either your attorney or the other side. If you believe it is important or relevant slip the attorney a note or send an email with the information.
- You cannot reference notes unless the attorney or other side provides them to you for review.
- Do review your own personal notes prior to coming to court to refresh your memory.
What do we mean or what information are we looking for when we ask the following questions:
- Do you recognize or can you identify this document? Tell us what the document is. Is it a lease, a notice, photographs, ledger etc.
- What is your occupation? If you have a job outside of property management that isn’t what we are asking. We are asking what your relationship is or how you are involved in managing the real property.
- With all questions please be as concise as possible and we will ask you to expand as needed.