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Arbitration Court Back In Session Via Zoom

The Mandatory Arbitration Program for the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois completed its first session of remote hearings via Zoom video conferencing during the week of June 22nd. Judge Threlkeld issued an order on May 18, 2020 that all arbitration hearings starting in June would be conducted via Zoom video conferencing. Chief Judge William Mudge said, “I am very pleased that the Arbitration docket is back in full operation and that the litigants and attorneys involved are able to conduct these hearings safely over the video conference platform.” Arbitration Administrator, Kathy Harris, reported that the hearings proceeded very successfully. She also noted that during normal sessions of arbitration hearings, three hearings can be accommodated simultaneously and arbitration now has the ability to remotely host the same hearing schedule. Arbitrators were quick to respond to requests to serve using remote means, as it saves attorneys valuable time away from their practices while continuing to support mandatory arbitration. Local attorney Christopher Donohoo said, “I have arbitrated cases for clients and also serve as an arbitrator. Arbitrations being conducted via Zoom are critical so cases can proceed without delay. Kathy has been instrumental in implementing the smooth transition from in-person arbitrations to Zoom. We are all adapting to the “new normal” and Zoom arbitrations appear to be the normal for the foreseeable future.” Mandatory Arbitration cases allege monetary damages between $10,000 and $50,000. The hearings will be able to move forward at full capacity during this unprecedented time of the Covid-19 pandemic, as are many other hearings at the courthouses. Chief Judge Mudge added, “For in-person proceedings at the courthouses in Edwardsville, patrons must bring and wear a facemask at all times, or will be denied entry. Soon, a Zoom option will be available for traffic court appearances and I encourage everyone to choose this manner of attending court in order to avoid having to appear in person.”

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