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Practicing Law in Multiple States: Navigating Remote Hearings

“Can you be in two places at the same time?”

The answer is ‘yes!’ – I do it every day with Zoom, conference calls, airplanes, and physical offices in both Michigan and Florida, why not?

I am out there fighting for my clients in courtrooms in both Michigan and Florida sometimes I am in both places on the very same day.  I am even litigating an eight-figure case in Delaware Chancery Court thanks to being allowed to temporarily practice there pro hoc vice.  The concept of being in two or more locations simultaneously, once considered improbable for a law firm, is now a practical reality for my team and me.

Here are a few key factors that have made this innovative setup possible for us:

  1. Technology

    The rapid advancement of internet connectivity and webcams, combined with online platforms like Zoom and Teams, has revolutionized how we communicate with our attorneys, support staff, and clients. Virtual meetings, file sharing and real-time updates enable us to bridge geographical gaps seamlessly, making way for excellent client communication and information delivery.  The days of clients dropping off documents at our offices or delivering documents to courts and opposing counsel are long gone.

  2. Willingness of Courts and Tribunals

    The most significant advancement that has allowed for seamless practice in multiple states is the willingness of courts and tribunals to allow remote hearings and conferences.  Almost without exception since the COVID-19 pandemic, judges, arbitrators, and mediators have been willing to hold their proceedings remotely, if requested.  For most, remote proceedings remain standard operating procedure.  The only exceptions I have experienced are oral arguments in certain appellate courts or trial court proceedings where evidence is being taken by live witnesses.  Sometimes you just need to ask.

  3. Transportation

    The ease of travel in today’s world, with abundant flights and improved transportation networks, has significantly reduced the logistical challenges and expenses that were once associated with practicing in multiple states. Our team can move between Michigan and Florida to meet client needs and participate in-person in various circumstances.  I easily get from Detroit all the way to Key West (a speck of land only 90 miles from Cuba) in a matter of hours.

  4. Commitment to Local Presence

    Our dedication to serving clients comprehensively extends to setting up physical offices in both Michigan and Florida. These serve as local hubs for our legal professionals, further enhancing our ability to respond promptly to our clients and be part of our communities.  We also have a network of partner attorneys throughout the Florida mainland and the keys in case an emergency presence is required.

  5. Legal Compliance

    Ensuring compliance with the legal requirements and regulations of both Michigan and Florida is crucial. This includes understanding the unique legal systems, licensing, and ethical standards in each state. Generally, attorneys can consult ABA Formal Opinion 495 (https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/professional_responsibility/aba-formal-opinion-495.pdf).  More importantly, our teams stay updated on changes in laws and regulations in both states, as they may differ.

  6. Resource Management

    Efficient allocation of resources, including legal professionals and support staff, is essential to balance the demands of multiple locations. Real-time collaboration allows clients to engage easily with their legal teams and the courts.

Serving our Northern and Southern Communities

Navigating remote hearings is now an additional facet of our service, facilitating efficient and accessible legal proceedings for clients in both Michigan and Florida.

This innovative approach harnesses emerging technology to make meetings and hearings readily accessible, ensuring that our clients and lawyers can actively participate in their cases without the need for extensive travel – and also conveniently travel when needed.

By embracing this approach, we are enhancing our ability to provide top-quality legal services to businesses, wherever they may be, reflecting out commitment to excellence in the ever-evolving legal landscape.

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