Remote Hearings Still Get Great Outcomes

December 2020 | by Pete Viteznik

photo of laptop computer and video conference call

2020 has been a unique year in terms of the limitations imposed by the Covid pandemic. I recently represented a client for KVL in an Arbitration held entirely via zoom and prevailed on piercing the corporate veil in a claim against our clients. While we were able to get a great outcome for our clients, we also learned a lot through the challenges of holding a hearing completely remote. It required all of the parties to prepare for cross-examining witnesses remotely and arguing the case via a computer screen. I found the experience both beneficial and limiting. Limiting because reacting to body language and other visual cues of all those present during arbitration was no longer available. I found it harder to know when to expound or rephrase my argument based on the audience’s reaction. The benefits come down to time, access, and preparation. The freedom of only needing a good internet connection to get all parties to the table is huge. I also found my preparation for the hearing was more detailed to ensure quick and easy access to my documents and to share seamlessly during the hearing. While the experience may have been different, the outcome is what matters. And for the record, I think remote hearings are here to stay even as the threat of the pandemic decreases.