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Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine shareholder Abbey Kaplan Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine shareholder Abbey Kaplan

Since the beginning of the pandemic one year ago, we have seen the legal industry adapt to a technology-driven world, especially one area in particular: virtual mediation. In fact, outside of operating in a remote environment, the mediation process has not changed much at all; the only material difference is that attorneys are no longer sitting in the same room as their clients and the opposing party. The transition to a remote environment has offered a glimpse into the future of mediation proceedings that will likely take place virtually.

This past year, we have seen an increase in mediations and in particular pre-suit mediations. The pandemic has led the courts to issue restrictions on conducting matters in-person, leading to a backlog of cases and individuals not having access to in-person trials as they traditionally would. As a result, more clients are eager to conclude their cases and are directing their lawyers to pursue early mediation as an efficient solution. Additionally, judges are also suggesting early mediation, especially in complex cases which could otherwise wait for at least 18 months before a trial occurs. Clients recognize that mediation, whether pre-suit or early on in the litigation process, is far less costly and an attempt to resolve the dispute at a virtual mediation is a far more sensible alternative.

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