Court of Appeals to hold telephone hearings

By Peter Vieth, Virginia Lawyers Weekly – 3/19/2020

The Court of Appeals of Virginia says it will conduct its upcoming dockets via telephone conference through at least June 30.

In a March 18 notice, the court said the action was taken in an “abundance of caution and to protect the safety and wellbeing of all who participate” in court proceedings. The notice said details regarding phone numbers, access codes and confirming the dates and times would be provided with scheduling notices in the normal course for court dockets.

Also on March 18, the Supreme Court of Virginia notified attorneys scheduled to argue writ panels on March 31 that they have a choice: argument by telephone or waiving argument, according to a web post by appellate attorney Steven Emmert. The court reportedly gave each such advocate until March 24 to notify the Chief Staff Attorney.

The list of local court schedule changes on the website of Virginia’s Judicial System grew to 46 pages as of March 19.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia has restricted access to the Poff Federal Building in Roanoke.