No. If someone files a lawsuit, they are expected to appear and testify at trial. Both parties need to appear before the Court, as a lot of what the judge considers are the personal mannerisms of the litigants in addition to their testimony.
No, a plaintiff cannot normally appear for a trial via telephone.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.