If you have a trial coming up in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, it’s likely that jurors will be spread out across the courtroom and masked, rather sitting in the box.
And your litigation team has to tune in remotely because the team members can’t join you at the counsel table, says Ronald Safer, a Chicago lawyer who has tried two federal cases in the past six months.
The physical aspects aren’t the only changes in federal litigation, according to Safer, who shared his observations, along with fellow Chicago trial lawyer James Sotos. They think jurors, particularly those younger than age 40, are much more forgiving whether a witness is caught lying, few care whether a party admits to drug use, and many expect significant documentation from law enforcement trying to defend misconduct charges.
Both are featured in this month’s Asked and Answered podcast, which is looking at how litigation has changed over the years.
Send ideas for future episodes to ABA Journal Senior Writer Stephanie Francis Ward.