The Coronavirus, Its Impact On The Legal System, and Technology’s Role

Personal Injury Lawyer

The entire world is in the middle of a global crisis. This is a crisis that will be talked about in the history books of future generations. The coronavirus epidemic is being compared to the Spanish flu, an epidemic that killed millions of people. This comparison alone is frightening. 

Our economy has been significantly affected and unemployment is rising at a steep rate. Our legal system is also being impacted by the pandemic. The judicial branch is vital to our country’s success, and it is vital that we continue to keep it running during this scary time. Reality has started to sink in and people are realizing that there is no timetable for how long this is all going to last. One question remains — what does this new reality look like for our legal system?

In 2020 we are equipped with new technology and platforms that allow us to do things that people couldn’t or wouldn’t have dreamed of even as far back as ten years ago. Technology allows us to be able to video chat with large groups of people in our sweatpants! There are many professions that have adapted with technology, but the legal profession is not one of them. As a result, there are many courts that have been resistant to doing any non-emergency hearings of any kind. The problem with this mentality is that no one knows when this pandemic is going to end. People are hopeful this will be over within months, but it could go on for much longer. This means that both civil and criminal cases across the country will be put on hold until society opens back up. There is another solution, though.  

One way that courts in Texas have been holding hearings is via the technology platform, Zoom.  There is no federal or statewide mandate that a court has to hold hearings during the pandemic. As a result, many courts have stuck to the mentality that only emergency matters will be heard. There are some progressive courts that have decided that they will hear Zoom hearings on non-essential matters. Each week that goes by and every time a state pushes back their shelter in place order, the more the courts will realize that this isn’t a situation that we can put a bandaid on and hope we can wait the pandemic out. Technology allows us to do so without too much deviation from the status quo. We have to evolve and adapt. If you or someone you know needs legal advice during the pandemic, don’t hesitate to contact a family lawyer, like a family lawyer in Arlington, TX, to see how one can help you virtually today. 



Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into the way the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the court system in the United States and some good solutions to keeping them open.