| by Heather Duncan, Esq.

During California’s declared State of Emergency we have all had to familiarize ourselves with electronic filings, service and remote appearances. As we move forward, it looks as though many of these changes will become a permanent part of how we practice law.  

We should now all be familiar with Governor Newsom’s executive order N-3820 that enhanced the authority of California's judicial branch. The associated orders signed by California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye supplemented that authority and was designed to keep as many people as possible out of the courthouse through the use of internet based remote technologies. These orders can be found here.

Many of those changes were recently enshrined in Senate Bill 1146, unanimously passed in the final days of the California legislative session and sent to Governor Newsom’s desk for approval on September 10, 2020. SB 1146 contains an urgency clause providing it will become law as soon as it is signed.

Under SB 1146, California state courts will continue to allow litigants to serve documents electronically and conduct depositions remotely. The bill modifies California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) section 2025.310 which required a party deponent to personally appear for deposition in the presence of the deposition officer and CCP 1010.6, which outlined the requirements for electronic service. Additionally, the bill extends all civil pretrial deadlines until 18 days after the Covid-19 state of emergency is lifted.

The full text of SB 1146 can be found here

We fully expect this bill to be signed into law before our October Network News hits the press.

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