When I became a litigator 35 years ago, I drafted on yellow pads that were sent off to “word processing,” court filings were made on a sprint at 11:58 p.m. to the guard at the courthouse, and senior partners sat in paneled offices, often smoking cigars at their desks after martini-filled lunches. Offices were packed on the weekend, as there was no way to log in from home; there were no cellphones, or laptops, or e-mail.

Things have changed quite a bit, but looking forward from this improbable ninth week of shutdown, I believe that litigation is about to enter another sea change. Some of these changes may be temporary, but others are likely to be long-lasting and have ripple effects throughout the profession and the economy.

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