COVID Paralyzes Court System: Get Back in Business With PAID Network
Is your business transaction held up by legal delays? You are not alone. Since the first COVID-19 lockdown, the global judicial system has been slower to adjust to new approaches to functioning than the business world. Many state and federal courts have put an immediate end to proceedings, while others are operating with significant delays in“non-essential, non-emergency” cases. The backlog in the global judicial system has a silver lining: the increased dependence on remote judicial services is forcing the business and legal communities to adopt more efficient, decentralized technology solutions.
In the current environment, businesses are unlikely to have their civil cases litigated until a vaccine is readily available, or courts find another way to mediate the crisis. The dollar value of these setbacks is likely to total in the billions for blue chip and small companies alike.
The American Arbitration Association estimates that businesses lose more than $180 million monthly due to dispute resolution delays. This number is horrifying when considering how many businesses have been permanently or temporarily closed worldwide due to the pandemic.
The Bane of the Backlog
Furthermore, while new case filings have decreased, the decline hasn’t done much to reduce the backlog now faced by courts across the country. According to Tyler Technologies, a public sector software provider that tracks court and public safety measures, average weekly filings decreased almost 50% between March and May. Nevertheless, eight months into the pandemic, the backlog of non-essential cases accumulated poses an extreme challenge to reopening courts. Handling and resolving this backlog of cases in a timely manner is an even greater challenge, to say the least.
The United States is not the only country facing long court backups. According to CBC News, Nova Scotia is experiencing “their worst backlog ever” as people line the streets outside courthouses, and legal aid applications outpace approvals.
Megan Longley, CEO of Nova Scotia Legal Aid, told CBC that “Several months worth of people with legal issues are coming to us all at the same time. The files aren’t closing at a rate fast enough to necessarily accommodate all of the people applying for service.”
The question of “How quickly can courts restore operations to full capacity?” will be the judicial system’s focal point over the next six months. Courts will have to consider the social-distancing implications and reduced capacity, while others may have to reconsider using venues where the layout isn’t conducive to social distancing.
Slow and Steady Doesn’t Always Win the Race
The legal community was unprepared for how much slower the global judicial system has become owing to the exacerbated effects of the global pandemic. Although the pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of a centralized legal system, it has also highlighted the need for technological improvements
“There is at least one positive thing to come out of the pandemic: the technology demands needed to reopen during the public health crisis meant that the legal system was forced to start modernizing. We’ve got an analog system in a digitized world — and that’s how the courts have been functioning…we need to invest in IT solutions that will help create efficiencies and move things along more smoothly. We’re not there yet,” explains Pamela Williams, chief judge of Nova Scotia.
PAID is Picking up the Pieces
PAID, the world’s first borderless legal toolkit for all your business needs, is strongly positioned to alleviate the commercial civil cases inundating our traditional legal system. PAID Network offers its users the ability to preempt disputes through SMART Agreements recorded immutably on the blockchain, and a community of staked arbitrators to quickly resolve disputes when they arise. Our current archaic and centralized paper-based judicial system is being proven incapable of scaling with the current civil case demand.
Had PAID Network been up and running before the pandemic hit, perhaps the commercial civil cases backlog would look different right now. Fortunately, a solution exists today. Technology that brings progress is quickly adopted by the masses, as history has shown time and time again. The marketplace is primed for an all-inclusive business toolkit and dispute arbitration platform like PAID.
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