Earlier in June 2020, the Delaware Court of Chancery has issued its Courtroom Protocols, that are being implemented, effective June 8, 2020, in conjunction with the reopening of the courthouses. A high-level summary of the new practices and procedures are set forth below:
- All attorneys and members of the public will be screened upon entering a State courthouse in accordance with the protocols set forth in the Reopening Plan.
- The Reopening Plan requires 6 feet of social distance from all other individuals (other than someone from your household) throughout the
courthouse and in courtrooms.
- Video streaming of hearings and trials via a YouTube channel will be available in courtrooms A and B in New Castle County and the main courtroom in Sussex County.
- Any member of the press who wishes to attend a hearing or trial in-person is requested to file a letter so advising the court at least five business days before the proceeding.
- All participants, including non-litigants, are required to wear a face covering or a mask while in the courtroom.
- A staff member will monitor the hallway outside the courtroom and will direct participants to their seats to ensure proper social distancing.
- Markings have been placed in the courtrooms identifying where participants may sit consistent with social distancing requirements.
- Tabletop podiums and microphones will be installed at each of the two counsel tables at the front of the courtroom.
- The ELMO projector and the center podium in the courtroom will not be available for use.
- Counsel should make every effort to plan their presentations to avoid the need to approach the bench or the witness stand.
- Counsel must deliver copies of demonstratives to chambers and opposing counsel at least one day before a courtroom appearance.
- Counsel may bring their phones into the courtroom but they must be turned off (and not just silenced) during a courtroom proceeding.
- The courtroom will be cleaned after each hearing or trial day.
Out of state attorneys should consult with their Delaware counsel to ensure proper compliance with the above protocols.