To Zoom or not to Zoom?
That seems to be the question now that we’re in 2023. Gone are the days of lockdowns and states of emergency…but now that we have the technology many firms continue to offer services virtually (ours included).
We learned since early 2020 that it is possible to have one-on-one meetings between lawyers and clients, settlement meetings, mediation, arbitration and even motions and trials virtually. We also learned that in some cases this is preferable and, in some cases, not so much.
Now that we seem to have a bit of a hybrid situation we have the benefit of choosing the most appropriate format for many of our interactions. Here are some things to consider when talking with your lawyer about how to proceed…
- Can you save money? Lawyers and other professionals may be travelling a significant distance to attend meetings and time is money – consider whether it makes sense to save the cost of having the professionals commute for a meeting.
- Can you save time? If you have a private space at work or at home it might make sense to save some travel time yourself by zooming in.
- Is privacy an issue? We know our meetings are private when we are all together in the same space behind closed doors. We ask for the same in online meetings but this can never be guaranteed.
- Is safety an issue? Sometimes meeting virtually rather than sharing space can mean a feeling of safety (either physically or emotionally) for at least one of the participants, opening up the option to negotiate and work towards a resolution in a way that would not have been available without the technology.
- Is technology an obstacle? It’s important that every participate has access to a safe, private place to meet online with reliable technology and the knowledge required to use it for the meeting. If one person doesn’t have a strong wifi connection or the comfort level to use the technology that is a problem for all.
Talk to your lawyer or mediator about your comfort level with online meetings. We can now use the tools we acquired over the last three years to offer more options to our clients and other professionals.
You can reach us (virtually and in person) at www.gagefamilylaw.ca for all of your family law, wills and estate planning needs.