, General News

Model Webex Administrative Order and Forms

A Subcommittee of the COVID-19 Task Force developed a model administrative order that court officials can use to establish Webex protocols.

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The COVID-19 pandemic presented numerous challenges to courts across the country. One emerging trend is the prevalence of remote hearings conducted via audio video transmission (AVT). In June, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted S.L. 2021-47 which permits courts to conduct judicial proceedings via AVT. 

A Subcommittee of the COVID-19 Task Force, chaired by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour and Attorney Wade Harrison, developed a model administrative order that court officials can use to establish Webex protocols for remote hearings, such as:

  • How Webex hearings will be scheduled
  • Whether hybrid hearings will be permitted
  • What efforts will be made to ensure proper audio and video functionality
  • How contempt proceedings (summary and plenary) will be conducted
  • How evidence will be handled during and after a remote hearing
  • How the court record will be preserved
  • What access, if any, litigants, lawyers, or the public will have to Webex recordings

This Subcommittee worked tirelessly to produce model administrative order and model forms, which have been vetted and approved by each of the stakeholder groups represented on the Subcommittee. This order provides options, comparable to the pattern jury instructions, that a senior resident superior court judge or chief district court judge may select that will best meet the needs of and represent the practices in their respective district. It is applicable to districts where in-person hearings are the default hearing type as well as districts where remote hearings are the default hearing type. It provides a procedure for litigants to request a remote hearing or object to a remote hearing consistent with G.S. 7A-49.6.

In addition to Judge Baddour and Mr. Harrison, the Subcommittee included:

  • Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Don Bridges
  • District Court Judge Lee Gavin
  • District Court Judge Ward Scott
  • Clerk of Superior Court Meredith Edwards
  • Family Court Administrator Nancy Butler
  • Trial Court Coordinator Lee Alexander
  • Court Reporter Donna Chandler
  • Court Reporter Lisa Garrison
  • Court Reporter Renae McDermott
  • Attorney Patrick Weede
  • Attorney John McCabe
  • Attorney J.D. Keister
  • Conference of District Attorneys Executive Director Kimberly Spahos
  • NC Sheriffs’ Association Deputy General Counsel Matthew Boyatt