ANALYSIS: Was the Pandemic Business as Usual for Litigators?

Respondents to the Bloomberg Law Remote Practice Survey report no change to the frequency of settling cases since the onset of Covid-19.

We anticipated data indicating fundamental and noticeable shifts in litigation practice in response to the pandemic and its resulting social-distancing restrictions; the initial results of the survey are not quite what we expected. In fact, litigation practice regarding settlement decisions appears to have remained business as usual.

Our hypothesis that pandemic-related economic uncertainty would have made parties more amenable to settlement was based on anecdotes gathered in our virtual travels. We heard tales of attorneys working together to bring cases to a resolution by crafting fair settlements.

According to preliminary survey results, however, those Kumbaya moments were the exception rather than the rule. An overwhelming majority (72%) of respondents reported that the frequency of case settlements remained unchanged and nearly one-fifth (18%) of respondents reported that the frequency of case settlements actually decreased since the start of the pandemic.

Have you observed the same things in your practice? Has the pandemic made opposing counsel more cooperative or, as with other economic downturns, have parties become more litigious and less likely to settle? What, if any, changes to client billing have been necessary? We would be interested to hear from you about your remote litigation practice. Click the link below to participate.

Click here to participate in Bloomberg Law’s 2021 Remote Practice Survey. Please note that the Survey closes July 9, 2021.

Bloomberg Law subscribers can find related content on our Surveys, Reports & Data Analysis page.

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