For the past two years, attorneys—both in-house and at private firms—have witnessed unprecedented changes in the practice of law. With most civil trials conducted virtually, voices muffled due to masks, and certain statutes of limitations temporarily paused through emergency orders, litigation in 2021 looks very different than it did before the pandemic. One change, which has affected the life cycle of civil litigation, has been a substantial backlog in the courts. Significant delays from start to finish have put added pressure on lawyers during this new era. While the days of unilaterally selecting  hearing dates (and having disputes resolved on any timeline an attorney wants) may be gone, several best (or at least better) practices have emerged for both in-house and outside attorneys endeavoring to manage litigation against the backdrop of a clogged court calendar.

Managing Expectations