Virtual Attorneys  (Public)

The purpose of this group is to explore how attorneys are leveraging technology to provide superior client service in more cost-effective ways in a virtual setting. Join our sister group Virtual Law Firms .
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Gunnar K. A. Njalsson wrote on 15 Mar 2010 1:34 PM

I fully agree with you, in particular regarding routine issues which may not necessarily require anything other than refering to "Exhibit X". I also am of the opinion that there still is too much unnecessary travel involved in both business and litigation. This needs to be dealt with. One can never categorically say that "this and this type of case can be dealt with through teleconference of video conference". That is part of the problem. There will always be the issues of what type of evidence is being presented, how should it best be presented, etc.

As you probably know, in civil law jurisdictions such as the Nordic countries, most issues are handled by exchange of written documents. However, the law does allow for "oral hearings" as needed and required either by the nature of the evidence or by the court. I have also seen cases where appearing in person would have made the difference between winning and losing, because it would have allowed us me to make sure that the reviewer actually had examined the most important points of the case. In this particular procedure there was no provision for an oral hearing or personal appearance before the Finnish Chancellor of Justice.

So my point is that even videoconference would in many cases be preferable to both telephone and written representations and that the nature of the case and didactic (evidence presentation) issues would dictate the best procedure. From what I can imagine, the difference between videoconference and actualy physical presence is even less marked as facial expressions, pointing and referenceing are clearly visible. But it is also an expense and (in particular) infrastructure issue. I would bet that this plays in more often than any legal procedureal considerations.