Virtual court proceedings will probably outlive the Covid-19 pandemic, as even skeptical judges and lawyers say that they’ve made depositions, oral arguments, and jury selection much more efficient.
Courts forced to accelerate years of innovation into weeks may never go back to how they did business before the pandemic, according to interviews with more than 30 state and federal judges, lawyers and court staff in 16 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The embrace of technology is a revolution for many courts that have historically resisted it.
“We’re going to be doing court business remotely forever,” said Nathan Hecht, chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court and co-chair of the National Center for State Court’s pandemic rapid response team. “This has changed the world.”