Proper Courtroom Etiquette in the Age of Zoom

Zoom, Google Meet, Teams, and other video conferencing platforms have become the norm throughout the pandemic, and the legal sector is no exception. While the venue may be different, it is no less important to follow proper court etiquette as you pursue or defend your rights. The following are some tips to keep in mind if you attend “Zoom Court.”

Court Is Still Formal

Even in the age of Zoom, the court is still as serious as a heart attack. So make sure you dress professionally; that item you wore to impress your significant other last night is not appropriate attire, nor are your swim trunks or the outfit you wear each fall to rake leaves.

Don’t Break the Law While Zooming

Join the Zoom session from an appropriate place. Multitasking is a way of life these days, but Zooming while driving will, at best, leave a poor impression. Likewise, zooming on the toilet, in bed, and poolside is also highly discouraged.

Please Remember the Mute Button

Keep muted until it is your turn to speak. Carrying on conversations with people off-camera or exposing the rest of the participants to the sounds of your household is not helpful to your case.

Use Your Legal Name

Make sure your display name is appropriate. Your full legal name is best, while terms like “I_AM_INNOCENT”, “PAYME!” and “SHE_BE_LYIN” will not leave a good impression.

Keep Your Camera On (Almost) Always

Your camera should be on so other participants can see you. Please keep your camera off if you have disregarded the previous advice and are joining court from a toilet.

Remember: It is far better to be a little more formal than necessary than risk getting reprimanded by the judge or forced to appear in person.