Back together this week, the Zinda Law Group professionals discuss a topic you may have heard of – the Coronavirus. Attorney, Christina Hagen, Partner, Joseph Caputo and Founder, Jack Zinda reflect on how the pandemic has catalyzed technological change within the legal world. Remote depositions, mediations and trials have each caused their own set of challenges to be overcome.
Discussed in this episode:
● Setting the scene with Zinda Law Group in COVID-19
● The moment of realization about COVID-19
● Challenges of remote depositions
● Hurdles of virtual mediations
● Smooth sailing online court trials
● Jury trial predictions 2021?
● Book recommendation: The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
The COVID-19 realization
For both Joe and Chrissy, life as personal injury lawyers gave them their COVID-19 wake-up call. In mid-March, Joe was halfway through his morning coffee, watching the news and was struck by a sense of fear that made him opt for a virtual deposition rather than risk an airplane journey for his scheduled appearance.
For Chrissy, it was deposition delays that made her realize the only way to get through this pandemic was to adapt to the unprecedented changes by ‘thinking outside the box’.
In Jack’s case, a sudden, mid-game NBA cancellation was a surreal experience that triggered his realization. In 48 hours, the Zinda Law Group office went from a 60-person environment to a 100% remote operation, and since then he has scarcely seen “2 people in the office at any one time”.
What has changed?
Well, it is of no surprise that everything now revolves around video conferences, and with this new medium comes a whole host of new challenges, including, but not limited to, unexpected interruptions, dwindling attention, technology issues and internet glitches.
Mitigating these issues, however, is as simple as a dress rehearsal. An additional preparation session before deposition, for example, will allow you to be proactive about identifying potential issues before they have the opportunity to become a problem.
The Zinda Law Group checklist for preparing clients is: check internet hotspots, ensure background settings are video-friendly, make sure laptops are working and, crucially, that they are paired with a camera.
And make sure to ask ‘is anyone else in the room?’
Jury trial or no jury trial?
And finally, the team put down their bets on the likelihood of jury trials in 2021. From a pessimistic Joe to Chrissy and Jack’s optimism, ultimately the team remains hopeful about a safe and innovative future for jury trials.