(Nov. 6, 2020) — Life must go on in spite of a global pandemic, albeit not in the same way. This is particularly true when you’re pursuing legal matters. The justice system isn’t immune to the virus, after all, and has implemented ways to adapt, and you must, too.
In a time when proximity can worsen contagion, and personal interactions might mean the difference to an entire community’s health, working remotely has become more of a necessity than an option. The U.S. justice system sees it the same way. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, cases were classified into four: super high priority, high priority, medium priority, and low priority. Unless your case concerned a public safety, constitutional right, or liberty interest, it could wait.
As the world settles into the new normal and local governments issue new means to adapt, cases considered medium and low priority can also proceed. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can”proceed” the way you used to. Just as events and learning have been converted online, so are many legal services.
Adjusting your expectations when pursuing legal matters during a pandemic will help you deal with things more efficiently.
Looking for a lawyer in Colorado might not be as you initially pictured it anymore. Most firms enacted remote policies at the beginning of the outbreak. Depending on their management, they could still be working remotely to protect their employees and their clients. Pursuing sensitive cases like divorce, child support, and child custody might mean tackling them in the comfort–or, perhaps, discomfort–of your home.
With the unlimited potential of modern technology, it’s not impossible for consultations and even contracts to be dealt with online. It’s best to have this fact in mind when you start off looking for a divorce lawyer to represent you. The possible lack of privacy and physical distance from the other people involved in your legal concerns give rise to new problems that you’ll have to resolve.
Most courts have resumed operations, although under different circumstances. Courts across the United States utilize technology to bring together judges, counsel, and court personnel to convene as necessary.
Preparations are also being made–if not already in final and in place–for court hearings to be accessed remotely. This includes all court participants, including clients and their lawyers, who have to virtually manage their representation. A remote hearing will come with various requirements, not only ethically but technologically. This modification could lead to additional costs if you aren’t already equipped to meet the possible requirements.
Court users and judicial officers face multiple challenges in handling their court affairs. Among them is showing leniency, especially where the litigants are expected to suffer from technological difficulties that prohibit them from attending hearings. Non-appearance, whether intentional or not, might cause unwanted delays and prolong your wait. While courts are unlikely to tolerate continued non-appearance for long, it’s still a possibility you’ll have to consider.
Legal matters can be frustrating, more so during a health crisis. The current circumstances warrant an evaluation of your timing and execution. It is believed that remote work, even in the justice system, might continue even after the pandemic is over. Putting all these into consideration increases your ability to improve your preparations for your legal battle.