CA Extends Attorney Appearing Remotely for Court Proceedings

CA Extends Attorney Appearing Remotely for Court Proceedings

Existing law authorizes, until July 1, 2023, a party to appear remotely and a court to conduct conferences, hearings, proceedings, and even trials in civil cases, in whole or in part, through the use of remote technology.  While California Senate Bill 133 extends until July 1, 2026, the ability of attorneys to appear remotely for non-core hearings, potentially saving clients money in travel and wait time for court hearings, the bill also permanently increased court filing fees for motions and other matters.  Filing fees for motions and other court filings had sunset dates as deadlines to remove higher fees imposed to meet court expenses. Those sunsets have been eliminated.

SB 133 does more of interest.  Some clients know that client trust funds are held at the bank in an account entitled Interest On Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (“IOLTA”).  SB 133 extends the existing requirement that any interest earned in an IOLTA account be swept each month to be paid to the State Bar of California and used for programs providing civil legal services without charge to indigent persons.  Existing law requires the State Bar of California to distribute IOLTA funds and specified other funds to qualified legal service projects and qualified support centers, as defined, for the provision of civil legal services without charge to indigent persons in accordance with a specified statutory scheme.  Now, that includes scholarships and work opportunities for disadvantaged law students and establishes the California Access to Justice Commission, a nonprofit public benefit corporation to receive and use funding to achieve full and equal access to justice for all Californians.

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Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.  It is likely considered advertising.  Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call to discuss these matters as they apply to you or your business.

Attorneys admitted to practice in California, New York, Colorado, Texas, and Oregon