COVID-19 Impacts on Litigation Trends for 2020 and Beyond – Josh Blandi Writes in Legal Business World

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COVID-19 Impacts on Litigation Trends for 2020 and Beyond – Josh Blandi Writes in Legal Business World

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on court systems around the globe, and especially in the U.S. legal system, where courts have had to rapidly adopt the basic technology needed to go digital and ensure the public has continued access to justice.

We’re excited to share UniCourt’s CEO, Josh Blandi’s most recent article that was published in Legal Business World. Josh’s article, “COVID-19 Impacts on Litigation Trends for 2020 and Beyond” reviews year-over-year litigation trends from 2019-2020 across U.S. District Courts to reveal the immediate impacts COVID-19 has had on certain practice areas like personal injury, labor, civil rights, intellectual property, antitrust, and RICO cases. Josh also shares insights from COVID’s impact on courts in the European Union, and how litigation data can be used for strategic planning and business development by law firms and legal departments.

Here below is an excerpt from Josh’s article in Legal Business World:

Despite widespread concerns that the impact of COVID-19 would significantly curtail legal services demands, litigation volumes for most practice areas in federal courts remained relatively stable in 2020. While some noteworthy exceptions remain, the consensus is that that litigation practices – and the legal services industry writ large – is alive and well.

This article will review the year-over-year changes in case volumes from 2019 to 2020 for federal U.S. District Courts. It will also highlight trends for countries in the European Union and specific spikes seen for particular practice areas. Finally, we will touch on how law firms and legal departments can use litigation data for strategic planning to stay ahead of the curve and the competition – even in another global crisis.

U.S. Litigation Trends

For most practice areas, litigation trends have remained relatively stable in the federal courts. Labor law and civil rights cases, in particular, have seen high volumes of filings. However, there have been noticeable dips in others. 

Here is a data-driven breakdown. 

Personal Injury Cases

One of the more interesting changes in litigation trends from 2019 to 2020 case volumes relates to the massive spike in personal injury cases filed in U.S. District Courts during 2020. 

While there were close to 77,000 personal injury cases filed in federal court in 2019, there were over 282,000 cases filed in 2020, nearly a four-fold increase. However, this increase is almost entirely attributable to over 227,000 personal injury – product liability lawsuits brought against 3M Company.

Personal Injury Cases from 2019 to 2020
personal injury - other product liability cases

Within the personal injury practice area, there were also two changes in litigation trends that could possibly be related to COVID: (1) a significant drop in airplane product liability litigation, likely due to a sharp decline in air travel during the height of the pandemic, and (2) a noticeable drop in medical/pharmaceutical product liability cases, which may have been caused by a decline in the number of patients in the US receiving care for non-COVID related issues and injuries in 2020. 

personal injury - airplane product liability cases
personal injury - medical/pharmaceutical product liability cases

You can read the full article here on Legal Business World.

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