David H. Rich in an article published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly looks ahead to whether Massachusetts state court proceedings could go remote permanently.
The sudden, wide-ranging switch to remote Massachusetts state court proceedings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a slew of temporary court orders shutting down courthouses except for emergency matters, and mandating that most court hearings and proceedings be conducted telephonically or by videoconference.
This dramatic change has not always been smooth for the judiciary or the trial bar, Mr. Rich writes, but the available technology has nonetheless permitted Massachusetts courts to continue functioning reasonably well remotely.
The pandemic is proving that most litigation does not need everyone present in the same physical space, he observes.
Which raises the question, will Massachusetts state courts be willing to adopt these temporary measures long-term? And, if so, which ones? It’s not a question of if the courts can make this transition, but more a question of policy choice.
Mr. Rich’s article appears in the April 27, 2020 edition of the publication.
Todd & Weld COVID-19 Update.