Change doesn’t happen overnight —at least, that was the case before this year’s coronavirus pandemic. The spread of COVID-19 forced many industries, including the legal field, to rapidly change their practices to meet health and safety guidelines put in place by the CDC. But, according to Richard P. Bryne’s Law.com article, despite face coverings and mandates to stay six feet apart, many lawyers have adapted to the situation easily by embracing technology and turning to virtual alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Virtual ADR is not a new concept, but along with remote work, it is becoming a common tool for resolving legal disputes. Attorneys choose a service like Zoom, FaceTime, or Microsoft Teams, and then bring their parties together over a video call. And these programs are secure. Sessions are encrypted once clients and lawyers log in. They’ll see one another, discuss issues, and hopefully reach a conclusion just as they would if they were seated at a conference table.
Video conferencing services like Zoom also let participants meet in breakout rooms to talk privately about issues during a virtual ADR session. Sharing presentations is easy to do, as well. Attorneys need only to create a PowerPoint slide, and it works perfectly when they can’t physically hand out documents.
But the benefits of using this technique may extend beyond the era of coronavirus. Not only does virtual ADR save travel time and other expenses, but it simplifies the scheduling process. Parties can meet from anywhere when they’re meeting virtually. This convenience will likely be sought after by attorneys and clients moving forward—even when they can meet in-person once again.
Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the important work of trial lawyers across the country, and we continue our pledge as 7th Amendment Advocates who support every effort to maintain access to the civil justice system for all citizens.
Executive Client Manager
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