Matt Boatman Discusses Major Challenges Law Firms Faced During the Pandemic

For all Americans, day-to-day life has changed in so many ways. With social distancing still in effect in many cities and states across the country, we’ve learned how to adapt to doing things much differently than we did back in 2019, from how we meet with our doctors, to how we grocery shop or meet with an attorney. With many courts closed, lawyers all over the country have had to make the big adjustment of not taking a case to trial. This, of course, has caused a huge case backlog for many firms all over the U.S. Case Engine, a public relations and digital marketing company for lawyers, sat down with Matt Boatman of Gallagher and Kennedy, to learn about the changes he and other members in the firm have had to adjust to in 2020 and to learn what lies ahead for the field of law in 2021.

The Transition to Practicing Law Online

In court, a lawyer has the opportunity to get a better feel for a case, or how the case will play out. From how the opposing counsel is presenting a case and witness testimony to the body language of a judge, many lawyers can predict how a case is going, or they can use this in-person experience to get a better feel for what their next move should be. But without physically being in the courtroom when presenting a case, many attorneys have found it difficult to get an accurate read on a case and how it will pan out.

Matt Boatman, an associate attorney at Gallagher and Kennedy, sat down with us to explain the many changes he and his fellow attorneys have made, to continue to meet with clients, negotiate in mediation, and the struggle of making the switch from an in-court presence to handling cases online.

Boatman explained, “Our personal injury group is one of the most respected groups in the entire southwest”. We have the biggest number of cases to come through Arizona. We do everything from small car accidents to bus rollovers and plane crashes, as well as multidistrict litigation against major manufacturers. 

When asked what some of the major changes were that he and his fellow attorneys had to make concerning how they handle cases in 2020, Boatman explained that the firm had to make the transition to handling most aspects of their work online, with many of the processes being done on Zoom and computers. “Before, you would meet clients in hospitals and sign them up. You would go to court and were able to read the body language of the judges. Whereas now, everything is done digitally or over the phone.”

Case Backlog

With an immense backlog in the courts, the courts have just now started to resume cases, having the criminal cases take precedent. Boatman stated it has been difficult to settle cases right now, without having a trial date in a few months. As many firms all over the country struggle with seeing case progress, as usual, many remain optimistic that more courts will open their doors in the coming months.

Contact Gallagher & Kennedy

Boatman and fellow attorneys at Gallagher and Kennedy continue to push on, meeting with clients, handling negotiations, and taking care of business as usual, in the hope that they can handle more case backlog in the coming months. To speak with Boatman or another attorney at Gallagher and Kennedy, contact the firm directly by phone, or by filling out the online contact form on the firm’s website.