89.1 WEMU

Michigan Supreme Court To Host Online Arguments

Apr 13, 2020

Michigan Supreme Court
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Attorneys won’t be in the Michigan Supreme Court chambers this week as they argue cases.  As we hear from Rick Pluta, the state’s highest court has moved arguments online due to the COVID-19 crisis.


This is the first time the state’s highest court will use the Internet to hear appeals and question attorneys.  All sides have to agree for cases to be argued online.  And litigants will still have to file written briefs with the court.  Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack says this will help ensure the justice system continues to work through the crisis, but cautions this will be a learning experience.

“Technology isn’t the answer to everything that ails the legal system, like it’s not the answer to everything that ails any other system.”

Many trial courts already allow online appearances.  McCormack says the crisis will change the judiciary just as it’s touched virtually every other aspect of modern life.

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org