I have been honored to serve as Chair of the Torts, Insurance, and Compensation Law Section this past year. Our section is comprised of many attorneys who practice in the courts of the state of New York, as well as at Workers’ Compensation Boards and various other tribunals. We have certainly learned that “court” is much more than just a physical building. Court is really the belief in our system that resolves disputes in a civil manner. Pre-pandemic caseloads would bring many of us to physical buildings for conferences, motions, depositions, hearings, jury selection, and trials. Now, with the exception of jury trials and other mandatory in-person appearances, our entire practice takes place over various online platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. There was a steep learning curve for many of us at the beginning; but we learned, and we grew. The legendary Sun Tzu is believed to have said, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” These pandemic times have certainly presented us with chaos and opportunity. I sincerely hope you have taken advantage of this time for growth and reflection, to hone a skill or to focus on a new practice area. Personally, I was also able to take advantage of attending CLEs and meet-and-greets that I would not have previously considered pre-pandemic, mostly due to time or travel constraints.

Over the past year, the TICL Section has been at the forefront of many issues confronting the members of our section, not the least of which were the updates to the Uniform Rules that govern much of our practice in the civil court system. The TICL Uniform Rules Task Force worked tirelessly to study the impact that the “new” rules would have on litigants, clients, practitioners, and the court system. Our Section was at the forefront of recommending various amendments to Uniform Rules, as well as hosting online forums and leading numerous CLE programs on the topic. TICL will continue this leadership role into 2022 and beyond.