Bridging the “digital divide,” the gap in technological access for marginalized communities that became particularly pressing as remote court appearances expanded amid the pandemic, should be a priority as COVID-19 subsides, judges, attorneys and court officials said Tuesday during a panel sponsored by the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, the New York City Bar Association and other groups.

Bronx Family Court Judge Karen M.C. Cortes said virtual proceedings, which have by now become “firm features” of the court system, offer some advantages in efficiency and accessibility. Lawyers no longer have to spend time traveling to and from a courthouse for a brief matter, she noted, and some litigants can appear from home or their workplace without having to arrange for child care or time off work.

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