Chris Ritts from Ritts and Associates Discusses the Challenges Law Firms Faced During the Pandemic
Most courts around the country have yet to open their doors, while some are slowly returning to business as usual. For trial lawyers, this change has been one of the most challenging, making it difficult for attorneys to see some real progress in their cases.
Chris Ritts from Ritts and Associates sat down with the team from Case Engine, a public relations and digital marketing company for lawyers, to discuss the changes his firm has made in 2020 and what the future will be like handling cases during a time of social distancing.
Closed Courtrooms and Trials on Hold
When the team at Case Engine asked Ritts, a personal injury and criminal attorney, what the most significant change he and his firm have had to navigate through in 2020, like many others, Ritts responded it was the closed courtrooms.
He answered that at first, they did not allow any court appearances at all. So once Zoom came around, many attorneys found themselves scrambling since there was some doubt behind how secure this video conferencing program really was. However, once Zoom was determined to be secure, it was more of a positive change than some people would have suspected.
In the past, Ritts would begin every court day with criminal cases, but many criminal cases are just scheduling, people’s rights are being reviewed, etc. Before, this used to be all done in the courthouse. Sometimes people would wait hours on end in the courthouse. Now, this process is being done over Zoom, so it has made that transition a bit easier.
However, he questions how they’re going to have contested hearings when you want a case thrown out or a trial? It makes it difficult.
A Halt in Case Progress
While using video conferencing programs does have its drawbacks, it has helped save many hours that would have otherwise been spent at the courthouse, waiting for a hearing.
As far as other changes that have posed a challenge this year, Ritts mentioned that he has noticed that insurance carriers have not been settling their cases, especially the significant ones. So Ritts has been more selective in choosing cases. He added that they are not trying civil cases.
An insurance company’s unwillingness to negotiate and offer a settlement can set a case back several months. Unfortunately, this type of stonewalling and outright refusal to play ball can make it impossible to reach an outcome.
When it comes to criminal cases, Ritts explained that they have seen more plea agreements offered faster than usual, in most cases.
Contact Ritts & Associates
While there are some positives to scheduling Zoom meetings, such as the fact that both attorneys and clients can save valuable time that would otherwise be spent waiting at the courthouse, a closed court has also led to many insurance companies feeling more confident in their cases, with an unwillingness to settle claims as quickly as they used to. Fortunately, Ritts and the other attorneys at his firm are dedicated to getting the type of settlement their clients deserve, so while certain cases may be on hold for the time being, the team at Ritts and Associates plan to take each case head-on in the courtroom, if that’s what it comes to.
To speak with Chris Ritts or another attorney at his firm, you can contact the firm by phone or visit their website and fill out the online contact form.