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SONY DSCThe Florida Supreme Court recently amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.451 to authorize a court to permit testimony at a civil hearing or trial by audio or video communication equipment. The rule requires that all parties to the litigation agree to the use of audio or video testimony, or absent such agreement, that the Judge find that there is good cause to allow such testimony under the circumstances. The rule took effect on January 1, 2014. This change marshals the beginning of a new era in Florida litigation history. Allowing witnesses to remotely testify can save tremendous amounts of money and time and decrease these burdens on the parties, the potential interruptions for the court, and increase the convenience factor for witnesses. Ideally all witnesses would appear live and there is much to be said for having a witness in person, especially in a jury trial for looking people in the eyes, so the credibility and veracity of the person can be weighed by the jurors. However, with the speed of technological improvements and the heightened financial constraints of the judicial branch, allowing witnesses to appear remotely should prove to further our public policy to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every case.