Coronavirus Coverage

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 09: Wearing his official robe, New York City Criminal Court Judge Paul McDonnell works remotely from his Brooklyn apartment due to the coronavirus outbreak on April 09, 2020 in New York City. Judge McDonnell, who usually presides over cases in a Manhattan court room, has had to alter his work routine by hearing cases remotely due to the virus outbreak. While Judge McDonnell still works a full day, he has seen a drop in criminal arrests as COVID-19 slows all New York activity. Across the country, the whole legal profession has been forced to find innovative ways to keep the justice system moving as safety concerns continue to prevent large gatherings. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A Florida judge has one request for attorneys showing up for court hearings via Zoom: get out of bed and put on some clothes! Broward Circuit Judge Dennis Bailey made the plea in a letter published by the Weston Bar Association. It is remarkable how many ATTORNEYS appear inappropriately on camera. One male lawyer appeared shirtless and one female attorney appeared still in bed under the covers. He also noted that putting on a beach cover-up won’t cover up that you’re poolside in a bathing suit. Since courthouses shut down on March 16 to help slow the pandemic, Broward County’s judicial system has held about 1,200 Zoom meetings involving some 14,000 participants. Bailey said he won’t hold a complicated trial over the conferencing site, given the technology’s shortcomings. “Lawyers are often not looking at their screens but down at their files, their outlines and notes, or simply out the window, and cannot see the judge is hollering “Stop! Stop!” because an objection has been made and the audio stays with the witness rather than obeying the judge,” he said.