On the morning of Friday 20th March 2015, the offices of TV Edwards LLP were linked by video to Truro Crown Court so that a preliminary hearing, involving four separate defendants, could take place without their having to travel to Cornwall as all were resident in the London area
The parties were introduced and were represented by Kevin Lowry Mullins, a consultant solicitor with TV Edwards, and Paul Greenberg of David Phillips and partners. The judge sitting in Truro gave directions and set the timetable for the future conduct of the proceedings. The allegations involve a boiler room fraud surrounding rare earth metals
This use of video technology to save court time and the time of defendants and their lawyers is recommended by the report in to the efficiency of the criminal justice system by Lord Justice Levenson
An earlier hearing the proceedings had already been conducted by video link using Westminster Magistrates’ Court linked to Truro Magistrates’ court
Commenting on the proceedings Kevin Lowry Mullins said
“The use of the video equipment at TV Edwards saved an enormous amount of time and of course costs for both lawyers and the court whilst allowing the court to make all appropriate orders. I hope we will see such use develop rapidly over the coming months, as I could be back in my office within moments of the hearing concluding.
Where the court can make use of technology in this way, we see the real benefits of investing in technology in the criminal justice system. Savings like these provide better access to justice, as compared to the blunt measure of arbitrarily cutting criminal legal aid which reduces it”
TV Edwards LLP is one of the country’s leading criminal law firms, with offices throughout the London area, and has incorporated the criminal justice secure network in to its case management systems. Video conferences with clients in custody are now routine.