The virtual hearings checklist

We’ve prepared this checklist to provide you with a quick reference guide for the various stages of planning and conducting a virtual hearing.

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Virtual hearing checklist

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A guide to virtual hearings

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A guide to virtual hearings

Complete the form to access the guide and receive it straight to your inbox.

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Book a demo of the Opus 2 Virtual workspace

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Tech pack installation support

Once active participants receive their tech pack, our highly experienced Opus 2 technical team will be on hand to assist with the installation of the equipment, or to provide training and technical support.

You will have access to technical support via email, over the phone or via remote desktop access.

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1. Preparation checklist

Preparation is key to ensuring a virtual hearing can be conducted as smoothly as possible. Following these key recommendations can help minimise any technology or equipment challenges on the day:

Opus 2 Services Checklist

1. Fully hyperlinked Electronic Bundle.

2. Remote Electronic Presentation of Evidence (EPE).

3. Transcription - Realtime or Daily.

4. Opus 2 integrated audio/video conferencing provision for all participants.

5. Opus 2 Virtual Hearing Manager and access to instant messaging communication platform for coordination, operation and support.

Venue Checklist

1. Identify and designate a primary venue which will serve as the key hub to manage the virtual hearing. If all participants are remote, we recommend you liaise closely with us to manage the virtual proceedings.

2. Make a list of all participants and classify as active (speaking) participants vs. passive (listen only) participants, and their locations.

3. If possible, consolidate as many locations as possible, especially bringing active participants together to create hearing hub locations.

4. Test internet and telephone connectivity available at each location.

5. Identify and agree between all parties the capabilities that you want as part of the virtual hearing.

6. Opus 2 integrates seamlessly with most leading audio/video conferencing solutions available in the market, including Cisco Webex, BlueJeans, Zoom, Skype for Business and many more. We also work alongside audio/video conferencing provisions offered by courts and other venues including the IDRC, IAC and Maxwell Chambers. If you intend to use a third-party audio/video conferencing provision, discuss this with Opus 2.

7. Identify what compatible equipment and technology will be required by each participant and ensure these are available or can be sourced. Refer to the equipment checklist below.

8. Identify any training needs for each participant and work with Opus 2 and, where applicable, the third- party audio/video conferencing provider to ensure these are addressed.

9. Put a fault recovery plan in place for the hearing and have clear escalation paths for issues that may present, such as the connection dropping out. Opus 2’s Virtual Hearing Manager can assist with this and facilitate throughout the hearing.

2. Setup checklist for Hubs

Hubs are locations where you can bring your active and/or passive participants together, to provide more managed environments. Minimising the number of locations with remote participants reduces the risk of disruptions during the virtual hearing. The equipment requirements for Hubs are:

Room

1. VOIP connectivity; with audio being exchanged via in-room speakers and microphone conferencing system.

2. High-speed internet connection.

3. Acoustically set-up in-room speakers.

4. Tracking camera to capture all speakers in the hearing room.

5. Large-format display screen to show the video stream.

6. Optional: large format display screen for the EPE feed.

Per participant

1. Conferencing microphones for each active participant.

2. Laptop for each participant (active and passive) for the Realtime Transcription feed and accessing the electronic bundle and their private collaboration workspace.

3. Keyboard and mouse.

4. Extended screen for the EPE feed (if enabled).

5. Optional: additional personal extended screen for the video stream for active participants.

3. Setup checklist for remote participants

Where individual participants are not able to join a Hub, they should consider the following checklist:

Active and Passive participants

1. High-speed internet connection.

2. Desktop or laptop for the Realtime Transcription feed and optionally, EPE.

3. A comfortable headset that can be used for long periods or a personal speakerphone. Recommended: Plantronics Voyager
Focus UC Noise Cancelling Headset.

4. Recommended: additional screen for the EPE feed and/or video stream.

Active participants only

1. High-quality microphone. Recommended: Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Noise Cancelling Headset.

2. HD Webcam. Recommended: Logitech BRIO - Ultra HD Webcam.

4. Pre-hearing checklist

As virtual hearings involve a high technology component, we would always recommend allocating additional time before a hearing starts to set up equipment, test connections and brief participants:

1. Test the internet, audio and video connectivity.

2. Where audio or video recordings are being made, ensure they are on and working.

3. Test all screens to ensure everyone can see and has access to what they need.

4. Introduce all active participants.

5. Introduce the Opus 2 personnel and roles: Virtual Hearing Manager, Court Reporters and EPE Officer.

6. Housekeeping: present an overview of how the proceedings will be conducted and outline any key fault recovery processes in place.

 

checklist

Download the checklist

Request a copy of our virtual hearing checklist, and receive a downloadable version directly into your inbox for your future reference. 

Find out more about virtual hearings, powered by Opus 2

If you’re considering transitioning to a virtual hearing, the Opus 2 team is here to help. We’ll take away the hassle and provide you with all the support and expertise you need to conduct seamless virtual hearings, allowing the smooth running and timely conclusion of your matters.

Find out more