The New Normal: Litigating During a Pandemic

Prior to COVID-19, how many law offices and courthouses had a plan for how to handle an extended office closure? My guess would be not many. I have had several conversations with our clients to discuss their plans to handle remote depositions and hearings and virtual trials. Just months ago, these conversations might have seemed inconceivable.

The legal industry has made a remote shift

For the legal industry, there have been many lessons learned from this pandemic, namely, how to successfully adopt modern digitalized technology to keep wheels of justice turning.  

The fear of technology might have been overdone

While historically a laggard, the pandemic has propelled the legal industry to embrace technology to ensure cases continue to move forward. The realization that the way they do business will never be the same came to the forefront. The manner in which legal professionals manage internal meetings, third party hearings, trials and depositions has seen a face lift, one that largely relies on and involves technology. Instead of heading into the courtroom or office, many are now instead using portable solutions or a web teleconferencing application such as Zoom or GoToMeeting to record these important meetings.  

According to the Association of Corporate Counsel’s  latest flash poll  of the 249 members, 32% of respondents were uncomfortable using videoconferencing pre-COVID-19. Now, about 93% of those same in-house counsel is more comfortable with the technology: More than 70% said they were “very comfortable” with videoconferencing and another 23% were “somewhat comfortable.”  

The migration to teleconferencing and the legal industry 

The implementation of remote and portable digital technology solutions has helped attorneys to recognize an available, cost-efficient, new market standard to support more proceedings in the current situation, as well as in the aftermath of the pandemic. The legal industry risked a backlog of legal proceedings, which has been alleviated by the ability to complete remote digital hearings, digital trials, digital depositions and more. It has become clear; the courtroom is successfully embracing the use of digital video and web-based conferencing technology to carry out civic duties and to better manage their caseload.  

VIQ Solutions can help

VIQ Solutions offers CapturePro™ Conference and CapturePro™ On-the-Go to securely capture the court record outside of the courtroom. These value-added solutions support remote hearings for courts and onsite depositions to address the COVID-19 crisis that forced in-person court hearings to quickly transfer to other venues. CapturePro allows a judge, court reporter, or other legal professionals to capture testimony that is securely captured, managed, and stored in the same manner as testimony obtained in a fixed courtroom. The real time recording allows live annotations and system monitoring and enables VIQ’s transcription team to create a nearly live transcript. Visit our website to learn more.

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