CBA Record May-June 2021
Exhibits on an iPad”). The final spring seminar related to this topic tackled the topic of online misinformation and how it has impacted juror opinions (“How To…Craft Your Story in an Age of Misinformation”). Keith Pounds, a litigation consultant with Litigation Insights, expounded on how the past year saw an exponential rise in online misinformation as people grappled with the uncertainty of the pandemic, political turmoil, and civil unrest. This misinfor- mation has made jurors more distrustful, so the seminar explored how lawyers can heighten their awareness to identify and eliminate the most problematic jurors from the jury pool, and use this awareness to more carefully craft a story that jurors feel they can trust. Another impactful seminar worth revisiting on-demand is “Jury Trials in a Remote World.” The seminar included a panel of two local lawyers discussing their experiences with remote court proceedings and sharing their thoughts on the pros and cons of remote trials. In many ways our society is standing on the precipice of a new legal landscape. Things still remain uncertain and firm answers are difficult to find. For now, we can benefit by thinking about how this new landscape might integrate improvements beyond what the previous, pre-pandemic world had to offer. The programs men- tioned address critical aspects of our new landscape, and they are all available to watch on-demand at learn.chicagobar. org.
LPMT BITS & BYTES BY ANNE HAAG The NewRemote Landscape
W hile remote jury trials have not made their way to Cook County, the topic of remote court has been at the forefront of many lawyers’ minds over the past year as we have all had to keep pace with the chang- ing reality of living through a pandemic. As vaccines become more widely available and the spread of Covid-19 becomes (hope- fully) more and more controlled, in-person proceedings will become increasingly safe. However, in applicable jurisdictions, the extent to which the remote option will remain on the table is an interesting ques- tion to ponder. In neighboring Lake County, a task force convened in April 2020 to explore ways to safely bring in-person trials back to the county. Two in-person trials were conducted in the fall of 2020, but a spike in the Covid-19 infection rate again derailed proceedings and made in-person convening too dangerous. The virtual trial option was offered to interested parties, and the first remote civil jury trial began in mid-February 2021. The trial involved a minor car accident, and proceedings took place via Zoom. Jurors, lawyers, witnesses, and the judge all teleconferenced into the proceedings from their homes or offices, and all went remarkably smoothly. Regardless of where things stand in Cook County, we in the Law Practice Management and Technology world have tried to provide bar association members with resources touching on various aspects of these discussions. At the CBA, our spring programming schedule has been full of Anne Haag is the CBA’s Law Practice Management Advisor, a certified crisis intervention counselor, and a volunteer withResilience as a trauma- informed ER advocate for sexual assault survivors.
seminars related to this topic. We heard a presentation by Judge Karin R. Crump of the 250th District Court in Travis County, Texas, about her experiences with remote jury trials over the past year (“The Brave New World of Remote Litigation”). Remote proceedings were approved and underway relatively early in Texas, and Judge Crump’s jurisdiction has had much success in their endeavors (including astounding rates of prospective jurors who show up when summoned – numbers that are unheard of for in-person proceedings). Things have gone so well in that jurisdic- tion that it seems likely that the remote option or hybrid options will remain avail- able even after the pandemic ends. We also hosted two valuable presenta- tions from Kevin Doran, a trial technician and founder of Legal Tech Chicago. The first (“How To…Present Exhibits Effec- tively While Remote and In-Person”) explored how technology can help lawyers present exhibits in a powerful way that makes an impression on jurors. Doran’s second presentation more specifically tackled how iPads can be used effectively in court, whether court is being held in- person or remotely (“How To…Present
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CBA RECORD 41
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