Silver Linings Among the Major Changes in Litigation During and Following 2020

No reasonable person would contest that 2020 was a year full of changes from the “normal” way of living. It was no different for attorneys litigating matters. There were numerous changes to litigation that were, at first, new to us. However, as the year reached its conclusion, it became apparent that not every change in 2020 was a negative. Quite the contrary, there were several notable changes that were somewhat positive if not outright positive.

First, the ability of the legal system to rapidly adapt was certainly a positive, commendable development. There were undoubtedly changes in litigation, as evidenced by the difference in practice between January 2020 and December 2020:

  • In the beginning of 2020, nearly all court proceedings were held “live” in court. Few judges allowed telephone hearings and very few held video conference hearings. By the end of the year, video conference hearings and oral arguments were widespread.
  • In the beginning of 2020, video depositions were increasing, but still fairly rare. By the end of 2020, the overwhelming majority of depositions were taking place via video recording.
  • In the beginning of 2020, client interactions and seminars were far more likely to be in-person. By the end of 2020, client interactions were nearly exclusively done by email, telephone, and (increasingly) video.

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