On Monday June 22nd Nolan Farrell & Goff took part in its and possibly the South East’s, first virtual hearing.

The Waterford firm was involved in a matter heard by the Court of Appeal in respect of a High Court personal injuries matter which was appealed.  The case was heard remotely where three Judges, practitioners and other parties took part from various locations.

The Court of Appeal had issued a notice on April 15th, 2020 stating that it planned to be in a position to hear appeals remotely.

The Court office stated it would be in contact, in advance, with the interested parties in the Appeals concerned, to ensure that the papers are in order to facilitate a remote hearing. The parties in all other Appeals listed for hearing during this period were required to make every effort to lodge their submissions and any other necessary documentation in the Court office without delay so that the Appeals were in a state of readiness to be heard remotely.

On this occasion the hearing lasted approximately 90 minutes using a streaming app called PEXIP. Nolan Farrell & Goff’s legal team joined the virtual Court room from their conference room in Newtown Lodge, Waterford City.

In May of this year Mr. Justice George Birmingham said the judges are using the reduction in sittings caused by the lockdown, to “eat into” the list of reserved judgments that have been pending. While there would be some “slippage” in the time it takes for cases to be dealt with by the Court of Appeal arising from the Covid-19 restrictions, it would not be “catastrophic”.

He went on to say that while the Appeal Courts may suit remote hearings, this was less so with Courts that have to hear evidence from witnesses, and less so again with hearings that required a jury.

Daniel O Connell, Solicitor at Nolan Farrell & Goff expressed his pride in this first for the firm, “Our industry is not renowned for being progressive, that is why I’m delighted with how we have adapted to this crisis, proved our flexibility and were able to bring some resolution to these legal issues. It reflects well on our industry and our firm.”

NB – This is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff, whose numbers can be found on our website, www.nfg.ie