On March 30, the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Middle District of Louisiana issued orders to clarify the proper use of video and telephone conferencing for certain criminal matters under the CARES Act’s authorizations for these conferences during the COVID-19 emergency. All video and telephone conference hearings or events require the consent of the defendant or the juvenile after consultation with counsel.

The courts set one standard to determine whether a video or telephone conference may be appropriate for pretrial, probation, and juvenile proceedings; and another, more onerous standard for felony pleas and sentencings.


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