Civil Procedure

Bedridden man uses video chat provider Skype to testify against wife in court

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An elderly Illinois man confined to his bed appeared in court via video chat to testify against his estranged wife in his pursuit to extend a protection order against her.

Emil Kogan, too weak to stand after a stroke, answered questions from his bedroom by talking into his laptop, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog (sub.req.) reports. Kogan’s lawyer connected with her client on her iPad so that the judge and other lawyer could watch and listen to his testimony.

The state’s court system has allowed judges “in compelling circumstances” to permit “testimony in open court by contemporaneous transmission from a different location” since October 2011. While still a rare occurrence, similar examples of Skype-to-Skype testimony have popped up in a few other states, and Skype’s use is permitted in federal civil trials, Law Blog reports.

Despite some technical glitches, Kogan’s lawyer said that the use of live video testimony was easier for everyone compared to the special arrangements that Kogan required when he testified in person at an earlier proceeding, according to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

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