10 Jun The Great Pause and Shift: Things are Moving Forward
In Mid-February, 2020, none of us could have imagined what has transpired since then. It’s difficult to process. Our human nature is to want to feel in control; and given recent chaotic, unpredictable events, we have at times, felt out of control. It’s been a stressful time for most of us. The tectonic plates of culture, politics and economics are shifting in 2020, which when the shift stops, hopefully will result in a more peaceful, collaborative populace, moving in the same direction for the agreed betterment of the country. There has been good and bad during the pause and shift. The McKnight Law Firm has tried to embrace the good.
By mid-March, 2020, law firms, court reporting firms and state and federal courts across the State of South Carolina began collaborating on methods to continue operations and litigation, and hearings, through the use of technology. By the time people were ordered home, most firms were set up to work remotely, continue filing suits electronically and continue depositions and mediations through chat rooms such as Zoom or Microsoft Webx. Court reporting firms have been very helpful with technology accommodations for depositions and mediations. Administrative court type court hearings have been managed well with technology. Programs such as Adobe Signature, allow parties to sign documents via email, for example.
Jury trials and other contested civil and criminal hearings have been on hold, as safety measures have been put into place to maximize safety of all participants. There has been discussion of technology based jury trials, but most attorneys and judges cringe at the thought of such a thing.
The South Carolina Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, and United States District Courts issued multiple orders with policy changes to minimize contact between persons and the spread of Covid-19. Yet in the midst, also formulated policies to allow litigation amongst attorneys and parties to continue, with adjustments made to various deadlines and other matters to accommodate for known inefficiencies.
We officers of the court take due process of rights of individuals and corporations very seriously, and want to make sure everyone gets a fair trial. That is especially so in criminal matters, where life and liberty are at stake, not just money. But for sure, justice has been slowed during these difficult times.
The McKnight Law Firm has continued to fully operate, albeit remotely at times, since the beginning of the year. We had a healthy caseload of serious personal injury and wrongful death cases in play, so the pause in new cases coming in, due to the lack of movement in society, has allowed us to focus even more on our existing clients. Monetary settlements have come at the right time for some clients, helping them navigate these difficult times. We have been blessed to continue to operate and assist clients. We have many friends in other businesses who are not so fortunate; and our thoughts and prayers go out to them and their staff and families, as they move forward.
If we can help you during these difficult times with any legal matters, please feel free to give us a call. If we cannot directly assist you due to the matter being outside the scope of our practice, we will be happy to give you a referral to a quality attorney in the appropriate field. We are all in this together. We need each other. The McKnight Law Firm is committed to you; and we know you are committed to us.