During the COVID-19 pandemic, California’s courts have not held jury trials and have largely stopped holding in-person hearings. Few feel comfortable with in-person depositions. When trials resume, there will be a deluge of pending criminal and juvenile proceedings that take precedence. Civil trials, even those with statutory preference, will be further delayed.
C&A has been at the forefront of legal practice using Zoom for court hearings, arbitrations, depositions, client meetings and firm management. Zoom has streamlined litigation; it allows attorneys to attend a legal proceeding from anywhere in the world from the safety of their homes. Courtcall, a courtroom telephone service, allows attorneys to call into hearings which enables the case to move forward during pretrial proceedings. However, Zoom in particular is quickly taking over the practice of law and is accelerating the move to online proceedings. Other remote communication software, like Microsoft Teams, are proving instrumental to keeping in touch while also keeping away. Alternative dispute resolution services, such as mediation and arbitration, are more relevant today because they can resolve a case remotely without a jury. These changes are here to stay.