The last few weeks have created a world never seen by most lawyers practicing law today. As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, entire firms are working from home and having to adapt to a new workplace landscape. But simply because courthouses and offices have temporarily closed doesn’t mean attorneys can’t continue to work up cases and get them resolved.
Here are five tips to keep your cases moving forward:
- Transition from Paper to Screen: If you haven’t tried to take your firm at least somewhat paperless, now is the time. Transitioning your entire case management practice to digital work may be too big of an endeavor during the COVID-19 outbreak, but there are small ways you can adapt to a world where printing documents and sending physical mail is difficult. Purchase a scanner or download a scanning app to your phone or tablet (Evernote Scannable is great) so you can scan mail you receive and send it to others in your office. Get a DocuSign account so you can sign discovery you want to send and have clients sign settlement agreements and case accountings.
- Use Zoom with Clients: In-person meetings with clients won’t be possible for the foreseeable future, so set yourself up for the next best thing. Whether you choose Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, or Google Hangouts, get comfortable with a videoconferencing platform so you can conduct new case interviews, touch base with existing clients, and supervise remote medical exams (many expert witnesses are doing exams over videoconference).
- Utilize CourtCall: Every county has enacted different procedures for remote court hearings. Some are reserving virtual hearings for criminal cases only, but others are hearing discovery disputes or holding settlement conferences over CourtCall. Check the website of the court your case is located in to see what issues they are currently handling remotely.
- Take Depositions Remotely: Once you’ve familiarized yourself with a videoconferencing program, learn how to utilize it for depositions. Many court reporting services are offering free webinars that you can take advantage of to learn how to show and annotate exhibits during videoconference depositions. If opposing counsel won’t agree to a remote deposition, gently remind them of the new emergency rules allowing such depositions to take place.
- Encourage Remote Mediations: The best thing to do right now is evaluate the cases you’re handling that are in a place to discuss settlement with the other side. With less time spent on the road driving to courthouses or deposition locations, you spend your time teeing your case up for a mediation. Many of the mediators at ADR Services, Judicate West, and Signature Resolution are offering remote mediations and providing the videoconferencing set-up to do it.
Skilled Counsel to Assist with Your Case
As a premier trial firm in Southern California, Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP regularly collaborates with other attorneys and law firms on a variety of complex cases. With over 100 years of combined experience, billions recovered for our clients, and a strong tradition of success, there is a reason that our firm has earned a reputation as “the lawyer’s lawyers.” Whether you need additional resources for a difficult catastrophic injury case or high-stakes business litigation, our Los Angeles team is willing to accept referrals or join as co-counsel.
For more information about how Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, can help, contact us at (866) 634-4525 today.