Atlanta, March 27, 2020 – The Supreme Court of Georgia is gearing up to hold oral arguments via video conferencing the week of April 20, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton announced today. In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, this is the first time in history the state’s highest court will hold a virtual session.
“We are committed to continuing the court’s business with as little disruption as possible,” Chief Justice Melton said. “Thankfully, we now have the technology that makes this possible.”
Attorneys will argue 19 cases before eight justices, who rather than being seated on the bench in the new Nathan Deal Judicial Center, will be seated for the most part in their homes. Only Chief Justice Melton will take his seat on the bench in the new courtroom.
The Court has been preparing for the virtual court session, which will rely on the video conferencing service called Zoom. The Court will hear cases every day of the week beginning Monday, April 20 and concluding Friday, April 24. A calendar of the cases that will be heard is available on the Court’s website and includes those cases that were originally scheduled for oral arguments in March before they were canceled due to the pandemic. As always, the Court’s IT department will live-stream the April arguments over the Internet, and citizens are encouraged to watch the court session live on their computers.
“This is a first for us,” Chief Justice Melton said. “So please be patient if we run into some technological glitches. Hopefully, it will go off without a hitch. That is our goal.”