COVID-19 and the Courts: Lessons from the Pandemic   [open html - 0B]

From the Overview: "As the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rapidly spread throughout the United States during the spring of 2020, our system of civil justice was forced to restructure almost overnight as courts struggled to comply with the unprecedented restrictions necessitated by the pandemic. COVID-19 led to unique challenges for court administrators and judges, who tried to find ways to serve the continuing needs of litigants to have their disputes resolved in a fair, timely, and efficient manner while at the same time taking important steps to protect the health of court staff, attorneys, witnesses, and the public. Some courts shut down completely; others repeatedly postponed trials and all but the most crucial in-person proceedings while essentially every jurisdiction moved into an unfamiliar world where masks and social distancing became the new normal. The pandemic also resulted in a seismic shift to remote online activity, with virtual appearances and hearings becoming an increasingly common event, a development that would have been unthinkable in 2019. While some of these changes may be temporary, others could have long-lasting implications for the future of the civil justice system."

2021 RAND Corporation
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