January 14, 2022

Plaintiffs firms are looking at new strategies for adapting to litigation delays as COVID-19 variants lead to slowdowns for civil proceedings.

What You Need to Know

  • While many courts have transitioned to remote hearings, jury trials are especially impacted by the pandemic.
  • Plaintiffs firms push for diversification in caseload in order to mitigate financial risk.
  • Constant strategy review is key to adapting to ever-changing pandemic environment.

As some U.S. courts are grappling with the omicron-driven spike in COVID-19 infections, as previously reported by The National Law Journal, plaintiffs firms are once again facing court delays, especially when it comes to jury trials.

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Challenges for firms vary depending on how heavily their caseload resolution relies on jury trials. While many courts have successfully transitioned to remote hearing options, most attorneys agree on one key factor to keep going despite omicron: adaptability. And that goes for both trials as well as overall caseload strategy.

“A strong plaintiffs firm aims to maintain a portfolio of cases at different stages of investigation, litigation and resolution—just like any investment, a healthy diversification of risk,” Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll Washington, D.C.-based partner Betsy A. Miller said. Taking a closer look at caseload diversification “protects a plaintiffs firm from existential turbulence,” she added.

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Tackling the ever-changing realities of COVID-19 also means reassessing negotiation strategies. “One of the ways I adapted was to shorten my cycle of Prepare-Act-Review,” Miller said. While before the pandemic, she would assess and recalibrate her case strategy every six months, she now recalibrates every few weeks.

“I treated the situation like a science experiment: creating hypotheses and testing different approaches in response to new variables. I minimized blind spots by not becoming attached to the status quo,” Miller explained.

The complete article can be accessed here.