There’s no denying the impact of the COVID pandemic on different industries worldwide. One of these industries that have been affected is the legal community. Various legal issues have arisen since the COVID-19 outbreak in March last year.
Because of this, the American Bar Association discussed a wide array of legal and economic issues during the virtual annual meeting in 2020. These legal experts sought to identify challenges in the legal community and resolve them during the pandemic.
In this article, we’ll delve into top legal issues in the wake of COVID-19. Keep on reading to learn more and see how you can cope with this crisis.
Health and Safety in Courtrooms
The legal offices and courts have struggled to operate since the COVID outbreak. Because of this, most lawyers and legal practitioners have resorted to working remotely. Most of them have learned to use digital platforms such as Zoom, Webex, and BlueJeans.
But what about in-person hearings and trials? As a lawyer, you must have a client representation despite the threat of the novel coronavirus. Even court personnel have to resort to stringent safety measures. These include monitoring people getting and out of court buildings, implementing mask-wearing, maintaining social distancing, and even sanitizing the courtrooms.
Logistic and Financial Demands
The global pandemic has caused economic repercussions, especially among those running a legal practice. On top of their usual expenses are health and safety measures implemented in their legal offices. These include using disinfectants for clients and sanitizing the rooms. Even if they’re going to work remotely, they’ll have to invest in tools and technologies required for continuous legal operation.
It’s good that legal institutions such as ABA find ways to address issues in the legal community. One of these is launching a website for ABA coordinating groups, designed to uphold the law and the judicial system. They are investing in tools and resources to help the legal community amid the pandemic.
One of the biggest challenges during the pandemic is the increase in unemployment. As big companies and small businesses need to cost-cut, they have no choice but to lay off some employees. In fact, the United Nations (UN) expects global unemployment to hit 200 million by next year.
But crucial to the unemployment issue is providing legal guidance to paid leaves, benefits to unemployed workers, and even assistance to small businesses. Other issues that need to be tackled include employee retention, reopening delays, and even the increase of employee claims due to employer violations. These are just a few of the legal issues confronting many individuals and businesses worldwide.
Another grave concern is the housing issue arising during this pandemic. About 23 million individuals out of the 110 million renters in the US have confronted eviction problems. It’s good that as early as December of last year, the ABA issued a letter to the National Governors Association to take action against the eviction crisis. Some of these actions include the following:
- Legal assistance for eviction defense
- Eviction monitoring in different states during the pandemic
- Tools and sites generated by companies to help tenants prevent their eviction
- Rental assistance such as Emergency Rental Assistance Programs and Rental Assistance Database
- Loan defaults, deferment, and even forgiveness provided by mortgage lenders
Family Legal Matters
The global pandemic has forced a lot of families to stay in the comfort of their homes. It’s good if you have a complete family as you can spend quality time with them during this pandemic. However, the global crisis has led to some legal issues affecting some families.
One example is the issue of co-parenting during the pandemic. Most states have issued guidance regarding stay-at-home orders and the permission to travel for child custody and even visitations.
If you’re a parent looking to handle custody and child support during this pandemic, it’s best to work with a child support lawyer. Family-related legal matters can be a bit complicated because of the pandemic restrictions and financial constraints.
The global pandemic has been quite a challenge for the legal community. Legal issues have arisen such as health and safety in courtrooms as well logistics and financial demands. Issues with unemployment, housing, and family matters have also surfaced during the pandemic. It’s good that legal authorities such as the American Bar Association are looking for ways and means to address some of these challenges. While the COVID-19 is here to stay, the legal community can only do so much to get by.