Post-coronavirus could erase need for courtrooms altogether

By Naomi Neilson|31 March 2020

Coronavirus restrictions will successfully challenge entrenched views and traditions in firms and will make for a better profession, according to the Law Society of South Australia.

President of the Law Society of South Australia Tim White said the forced changes to law firms are highly likely to continue well past the end of the pandemic, drawing on the quote that “you learn more from your mistakes than from your successes”.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced many to adapt to innovative practices that have not previously been considered. This is especially important as lawyers will be experiencing unprecedented demand for their advice, in areas of law such as workplaces, wills and estates and all business-related issues relating to operations.

“The law is so steeped in history and tradition that embracing all new ways of doing things does not come easy. However, many lawyers have successfully implemented technology infrastructure to enable them to engage with clients and provide advice through different means, observing physical distancing guidelines,” Mr White said to members.

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Lawyers have moved predominantly to using digital technologies in place of appointments usually conducted in person, which still permits expert advice to be provided but in a much more time-efficient way, Mr White said. This also goes for all courts and tribunals, which are adopting significant changes to the way that they typically function.

“Why did more businesses not utilise these readily available technologies earlier?” noted Mr White. “Probably due to habit and our innate desire for personal interaction.”

Mr White added that many court appearances may not necessarily require parties to have to be there in person, and that courtrooms could even become a thing of the past: “This all sounds like a Hollywood movie but could become a reality!”

Post-coronavirus could erase need for courtrooms altogether
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