Holding a virtual hearing requires judges and parties to agree a software solution to facilitate an audio or video link. There are a number of providers available including a standard telephone conference call, to Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Lifesize.
CaseLines court presentation tools have been designed to facilitate both physical and virtual hearings. The following guidelines will assist you in ensuring that your virtual hearings run smoothly, and the integrity and security of the bundle is maintained.
- Prior to your hearing, ensure that all parties have been invited into the relevant case/hearing bundle in CaseLines.
- Once you are in the online hearing you may minimize the meeting invite and open other applications such as CaseLines. You may maximize the CaseLines bundle to fill the screen and move round the bundle freely as usual.
- Where possible use two screens or two devices. For example, you could use a PC for accessing the video platform for the hearing and then a second screen or device to view your version of the bundle with any notes visible.
IMPORTANT: CaseLines minimizes the requirement to screen share as all participants are looking at the same bundle albeit their version with their notes. Should you be required to share your screen, DO NOT share your screen unless you have hidden any notes you have made. How to hide notes is referenced in appendix A.
You can now continue to use the CaseLines bundle as you would do in a physical hearing, taking notes, making annotations, navigating the bundle and when appropriate directing other parties to pages. The following guidelines will help you get the best from CaseLines in a virtual hearing environment:
Notes & Annotations
While parties looking at the bundle will all see the same documents, each user is viewing their own version of the bundle, so you may annotate this using the notes features as the hearing proceeds.
- If you or other participants wish to refer to a specific page in the bundle, say for example ‘A3’. you can go directly to this page in the bundle using find page in the notes tab. Enter the number A3 and hit enter to be instantly taken to this page.
- If you wish to direct others to a page then first ensure that you are on the required page, then in the find tab select direct others to page. You will see a notification, asking you to confirm that you want to direct others to this page. Select yes and others will receive a notification asking them to accept this direction. This will put a page direction notification on the screen of everyone who has access to the case and is looking at the review screen at the time. If the recipient selects yes to the page direction they will then be taken to that page.
- Others may wish to direct you to a page and can do so in the same way. Best practice is to ensure that Auto Page Direction is not switched on so that you will not move automatically.
An alternative method of guiding other people around the bundle is to use presenter mode. This can be useful if you wish to target your directions to specific people rather than everyone in the hearing.
- Click on the Present Tab and click Start Presentation to enable you to become the presenter. A red border will appear around the review pane, indicating you are in presenter mode.
- Ask other participants to click on the Present tab and click Follow Presenter and choose your name. You will be able to see who is following you by the list of names showing at the top of the screen.
- You can then guide people to specific pages and areas of a document or multimedia, on their version of the bundle.
CaseLines allows you to review multimedia evidence within the bundle. If reviewing multimedia evidence during a virtual hearing CaseLines recommends all users place their microphone on mute, review the multimedia and when ready unmute to carry on the hearing. In addition, CaseLines allows users to add time stamps to play from a specific time making it easy to view from the same point within a hearing.
CaseLines lets you review two panes of evidence side by side in dual panes mode. As the two panes are independent of one another the feature allows you to navigate and annotate the bundle in one pane while allowing others to direct you in the second pane. To enter dual panes mode, click the ‘Show an extra pane’ icon at the top right-hand corner of the document. A second pane will open with a duplicate of your current page. You can navigate around the bundle by clicking on the index or page button on your notes. When dual panes is active, an additional icon will appear at the top of each pane, index, review, notes, that will allow you to control which pane a particular document is shown on.
For further details on using dual panes follow this link: https://caselines.freshservice.com/a/solutions/articles/2000040337