In an interview with Law360’s Aebra Coe, PCVA managing partner Tom Vertetis discussed the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on civil litigation. Describing changes in the firm’s day-to-day operations, Tom explained that early in the pandemic, shutdowns in the court system led to challenges in communications and disruptions with filing motions. However, over the past several months, courts have opened back up, in part by operating virtually. Praising the federal courts for adapting to a new way of operating with limited in-person interactions, he said, “It’s amazing how this pandemic has forced the legal industry to recognize we have to start doing things virtually.”
The earlier court shutdowns and current limits on courtroom space because of the pandemic have created a backlog in the system. Criminal and family law cases are understandably taking precedence over civil matters resulting in a high level of uncertainty around trial dates for civil cases. Despite these disruptions, Tom has been impressed with “how trial attorneys on both sides of the V have been working together to try to streamline cases and really trying to be judicial officers of the court to resolve cases that can be resolved. And if they can’t, putting them in a form that can be tried as expeditiously as possible with as little court resources as possible.”
When asked about the firm’s goals for the next five year, Tom explained how the firm is focused on “providing even better resources to our communities in the sense of civil rights and providing opportunities for people to have litigation counsel on complex cases. For example, our firm takes the time to reach out to communities that are underserved to ensure civil rights are being honored.”
To read the entire interview, click here (subscription required).