The Illinois Supreme Court will for the first time in its history hear oral arguments through videoconference because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The unusual procedure next month will allow the court's seven justices to observe social distancing, a practice which experts believe significantly limits transmission of the potentially deadly virus.
“These are extraordinary times, but what we have found is that we can keep our traditions the same," Chief Justice Ann Burke said in a statement. “The Court has found that a lot of our regular work – including oral arguments – can be done remotely while still keeping people safe from COVID-19.”
The court is scheduled to hear 11 cases on May 12-14. Arguments begin at 9 a.m. each day.
Court personnel will have training sessions with lawyers involved in the cases so that they know what to expect from the virtual sessions.