How’s it going?

Specifically, how are remote hearings going for parents and family members involved in family court cases?

The Transparency Project want to find out.

If you are a parent or family member who has taken part in a remote hearing during the covid-19 outbreak, or if you are someone who has supported them during that hearing, please complete the survey. And please let others know about it by sharing on social media.

In due course the Transparency Project will publish a summary of the survey responses on their website.


Click here to complete the survey!

A life of Webinars and Zoom parties

Last week I took part in a webinar in lieu of the face to face launch of Clifford Bellamy’s book The Secret Family Court – Fact or Fiction? It was really rather fun, and hopefully vaguely interesting for the 200 odd people watching. You can view a download here. That was back to back with the excellent paperless training put on by the FLBA via zoom – for 2 ½ hours there were 500 members of the bar glued to their screens, variously with head – or gin – in hand as we were talked through the software and practicalities. Even for someone who has been working paperlessly for a while, there was stuff to learn – so if you are an FLBA member who didn’t make it do watch the recording.

On Thursday I will be joining another webinar looking at the impact of Corona Virus on family law. You can find out about that here on the Family Law Hub website.

So far most of my hearings have been by telephone, but there have been plenty of opportunities to test out assorted video conferencing set ups via advocates meetings, client conferences, friends and family catch ups, mock video trials and general IT therapy sessions with colleagues. And yes, I was the saddo who prepared a powerpoint for the zoom pub quiz last Friday. I have been banned from next week’s pub quiz.

Meta-Guidance for (family) lawyers

This guidance should not be read in conjunction with any other guidance and is of indeterminate status.

Rules :

1 Do not read any guidance until 48 hours have elapsed from the time of receipt. If during the 48 hour period any superceding, related, overlapping or duplicate guidance arrives in your email inbox or via any other digital or social media platform within the 48 hour ‘quarantine’ window, the clock starts again.

2 Follow good Corona Guidance hygiene. Do not forward any guidance to your colleagues until the 48 hours referred to at 1 have passed without receipt of superceding, related, overlapping or duplicate guidance you may forward the guidance. Remember, corona guidance proliferates exponentially.

3 Corona Guidance is untested and is not yet well understood. Do not assume that the effects of the guidance will be as anticipated from reading the guidance. Different judges will have different reactions to the same guidance, with very different presentations. A loss of a sense of humour is one possible symptom of Corona Guidance overload.

4 For every piece of Corona Guidance received in your inbox it is advised that you carry out one cleansing activity such as : a brisk walk, chugging a glass of wine, or running your head under a cold shower.

5 Keeping a sense of humour is an important defence against Corona Guidance overload. Always attempt to sneak one *tiny* moment of hilarity into each video conference you participate in (this is not difficult).

6 Remember, the Corona Guidance does not care which platform you use to congregate.

7 Remember, the Corona Guidance famdemic will peak and subside at some point. Corona Guidance cannot survive outside a digital environment for more than 7 days.

Keep well, lovely people. And get some sleep.