Eliu F. Mendez
On Sunday March 15, 2020, the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts issued a Memorandum clarifying that all non-essential court functions that cannot be accomplished through the use of remote technology must be postponed. Non-essential court functions include court ordered mediated settlement conferences, which are an integral part of Workers’ Compensation claims. So, what to do?
We have now conducted three (3) mediations entirely through the use of remote technology using Zoom! In these mediations, the attorneys, client, and mediator are all in separate locations, but brought together on a video screen and then separately in Zoom breakout rooms. In both cases, we were able to reach a resolution and settle the workers’ compensation claims safely, and in accord with social distancing and the court’s rules regarding remote technology. This really helped our clients not have to wait until these restrictions were lifted to get the settlements they deserved. Although COVID-19 has created new challenges for us all, our office will make every effort to adapt and continue serving our clients through these changes.