Dan Richardson, Supreme Court, Superior Court discussed on The Dave Gram Show on WDEV
No I don't think lawyers are going to be involved in how court or should be involved in of course staffer or spaced out. You know behind Behind the wall there but to the extent that we're talking about how hearing slow how Jerry draws are conducted how You know hearings are scheduled but given priority or not you know I think it sounds sounds very much that you know this is this is at the initial stages from the court planning point of view So I certainly won't say hey. You know we should have been brought in long before that. This is just starting. I think we're all kind of reacting but I guess it's just a plea in a petition to to include us as it as it does go along Because I think you know we can make full contributions to it. Before in in order is issued as a final order it's always good to get sort of litmus test from attorneys as to. What is this going to work for us? Is this sensible You know in our best kind clients best interest or are there things that you know are are missing or can be added and make a better So that's just all and you know I think a lot of it. Is You know. The court runs itself and the administers its own programs. But at the same time you know we are the main customers of judicial services as a bar and you're and so it's a diet is a dialogue or a dialectic. If you're a galleon well you know I I am. I say must be. It's probably tough right now to stop by the Court House file of all that in the form of emotion so I'm glad to help out here on the ramp Shell. You're dead Anyway Patricia. What did you think of that last? sad remarks by petitioning attorney so. I agree with Dan that as the court looks set for example which kind of cases should be rolling out. I along the lines of the priorities. Such gruesome was talking about that The bar must be involved in fact that is part of the Supreme Court's plan as it starts to look at Including more cases to be heard the ten point plan I was talking about actually was more along the lines of what we need to do. that requires funding. And as you know the state of Vermont received a grant for one point two five billion dollars and that's intended to address specifically the Kobe nineteen emergency and so we've That's been on a very tight timeframe and so last week we needed to develop the The items that we need funded in order to be able to open up the court system and along the lines of what? Dan was saying The another part of the ten point plan is to get the remote technology in place to support court proceedings and so you can understand that with Fourteen units of the Superior Court one in each county and multiple buildings in some of those counties for us to do remote proceedings We need not only technology in those buildings supporting judges who conduct hearings on what's called Webex. It's one of those platforms but in order to provide public access to court proceedings. We also need to livestream them and so we do not at the moment. Have the technology that permits us to do that. We have been Piloting things and this is if there's a silver lining to the terrible crisis we're facing it's that on in real time we've had to develop Experiments and pilots and it isn't just the court who are is a participant in that but all the parties and lawyers involved in the proceedings. are also participants in a kind of experiment. And just to give you an example. What we've learned is that we have pretty reliable technology available to us from the court and for people who are on the state system so to speak. They can participate pretty well but we have people participating in hearings who are not on the state system and so part of what we need to do is to make sure that there are. There's enough technology and there's enough support staff to provide access to justice equally to all those participants and so remote technologies is key to being able to Hear more cases likewise in addition to court hearings. We have a lot of services that we are either obligated to provide For Constitutional or legal reasons. Or it's best practice To provide and in particular I would mention. I think it's true that lawyers are he Customers if you will of the judiciary but actually most of our cases involve people who are not represented by lawyers and so we have the same obligation to those people To provide access e even in a time of remote technologies. One of the things we're doing is seeking funding to support Additional resources so we can answer phone calls for courts around the state Centrally to make sure that the Issues that people have Are Hurting real time. And the we're we're going to be supported in that. By the fact that our electronic case management system is now in the process of Rollout. Which makes that much easier to do because people in who are answering those calls can actually go in and see those cases we also responsibilities to people who who For them English is not a first language. And we're required and are happy to provide Court interpretation and translation services. And so we will need to be able to do video remote interpreting for example and we're also Considering whether or not and this is where an area where the bar will be very important. Should we start to host? Online dispute resolution capability. And of course we wouldn't move forward on that without a consultation with the bar. Let me ask about sort of alternative dispute resolution. Dan Richardson Do. Are You Finding Ernie? Any sort of change in practice. Recently were more. Cases are being sort of settled out of court these days or because the courts are less available or is that not really taken hold yet. Well I don't I don't know if I have any data to support a rise or not but there's two things I think that our have arisen as a result of this is one you know it just plays into the economic factors of how you settle. Which is if you know that you're going have to wait to get in front of a judge you know until the other side of You know this this crisis and then maybe some time beyond that because there are going to be other cases in in line ahead of you That factors in because that means that time and time is money in a Lotta situations and so you know whereas your client bottom line. Was You know this? This number is going to go a little bit lower because you know you know that even if you settle for less that's still better than if you have to wait four or five months but You know in that respect. I think it's it's it is leading to settlements just simply because it's it's another pressure that's pushing parties towards towards settlement if if money is the factor If it's not you know I know there are a number of cases out there where money is not necessarily the factor and they aren't settling but they weren't going to settle probably anyway. The other thing rise is that You know a lot of mediators are adapting to the situation and doing online Mediation through through zoom and a lot of times what they do is Is Use multiple zoom platforms to have have virtual mediation? So you know you and your client will log onto one. Jim Account and mediator will come on and then log out and go to the other doom account where the other side is sitting there and basically have these conversations back and forth In real time And I know one mediator for example. I think Tim Spin. Coupling BURLINGTON has had At least a dozen of these Mediation in this point and I know Michael Marks and TAT POWERS DOWN. A Middlebury done similar. So you know this this This is something where people are adapting. I don't know what the success rates are of those online mediations if there as compared to sort of the in person mediation But I mean they're successful enough that I think the mediators are continuing to to push them. Forward and lawyers are agreeing to participate in them. So I think it's something where you know. Dispute Resolution moves on. And anytime you know. There's there's all these pressures on cases and all these factors that lead to settlement and certainly this court pressure is is putting additional pressure on to to say you know. No we're not going to settle or you know. Resolve this to the court system because of the circumstances in in the near future. So let's let's do something to get it resolved in so I think it does spark creative thinking as well judge Greeson and I wanted to go back to something you said just before the break at the bottom of the hour we were talking about perhaps having to take a somewhat Slow cooking approach. Here I don't know maybe that's a bad metaphor but fewer cases in the course of a day. Because for instance balladeer would be would be slower in a little more cumbersome in an age of social distancing and so on My impression all along has been that the court system in Vermont like a lot of other states is already Bending a bit under its workload not hasn't been easy life for you folks pretty previous to Kobe. Nineteen if all of a sudden were in a situation where you know. We've got a handle fewer cases just because things are a bit more socially awkward. Shall we say House what kind of effect do you think? That's going to have overall Dana clearly you use the term getting back to normal no when the court system.