March 29, 2019

Recent Developments in Business & Corporate Litigation: Annual Review Panel

Traditional approaches to case management and trials are changing as our society and technology evolve.  New technology does not always result in efficiencies, and generational differences affect how litigation is managed and cases are presented at trial.  This Panel of practitioners and a jurist will address these issues in roundtable format.  The Panel will focus on multiple phases of litigation, including early case resolution, motion practice, jury selection, trial procedures, and verdict trends.  What worked for docket management in the recent past is proving to be inefficient.  Some courts are attempting to address judicial economy woes with more electronic filing options and less interpersonal interaction.  Others are considering informal conferences early in the case to reduce motion practice and discovery disputes.  The Panel will discuss how a return to in-person and/or informal conferences with the trier of fact may be the solution to promote judicial economy in a world where electronic communications and filings overwhelm practitioners and the court.  Technology and generational preferences also influence how attorneys prepare for jury selection and trial.  The use of technology in presenting evidence and ideas, and in gathering and culling information during trial, is not uniform.  The Panel will discuss ethical duties related to accessing juror social media accounts during voir dire, how to capture the attention of younger jurors (and whether and when traditional demonstrative methods are still effective), and how younger generations and frequent public dissemination of legal issues via electronic media drives higher verdicts.  Finally, the Panel will discuss the pros of requesting alternative procedures during trial related to, among other practices, the use of questionnaires, iPads for juror notes, mini-openings and statements of counsel at various times in the proceedings, and the distribution of jury instructions at various times in the proceedings.