Elon University / Today at Elon / Symposium explores the positive and negative effects of COVID-19 on the justice system

The North Carolina Branch of Justice introduced new procedures and tactics to support the administration of justice during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, including changes to the state Supreme Court.

From circulating draft opinions electronically to hearing appellate court discussions via Zoom, all require judges to end the long-standing practice of relying on paper and face-to-face discussions. was. North Carolina Supreme Court We’ve embraced technology in such a way that some updates are likely to stay here.

and Hong. Sam J. Ervin IV thinks it’s a good thing.

But, as he pointed out in his Sept. 23 keynote address at Elon Law Review’s 2022 Symposium, a bigger problem remains for courts and government officials. What are the related orders?”

These issues have never been resolved in lawsuits arising from the government’s shutdown order, according to Irvine, an associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court since 2015.

From left: Elon Law Review Symposium Co-Editor Jordan Lockhart ’17 L’22, Chief Symposium Editor Cameron Capp L’22, Symposium Co-Editor Jeffrey Hudgins L’22

Nearly 200 lawyers, judges, students and professors have registered for this fall’s Elon Law Review Symposium theme, “The Laws of COVID-19: Courts, Education and Civil Rights.” Students hosted the symposium online.

As they heard in the keynote, the pandemic has impacted court systems in different ways at different levels, and Ervin suggested that first instance courts were most affected by the shift to remote control. Courts continue to process outstanding lawsuits that have arisen due to the shutdown.

But different parts of the state experienced the pandemic in different ways, Ervin said. Some communities have been hit harder than others, and orders from the two Chief Justices, at two points in time, have provided courts with flexibility to conduct business in courts depending on local circumstances. It was an attempt to strike a balance between public health and public health.

“We’ve learned to do things differently and more efficiently, and I think the system has already improved because of this,” says Ervin. “Courtrooms will never be the same as before the pandemic.”

Irvin has served as an associate justice after six years on the North Carolina Supreme Court. North Carolina Court of Appeals and ten years North Carolina Public Utilities CommissionPrior to entering public service, he spent 18 years in private practice in his hometown of Morganton, North Carolina, handling a variety of civil, criminal and administrative matters, including numerous appeals.

Since joining the Supreme Court, Ervin has contributed to decisions in over 540 cases. He has a history degree from Davidson College and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard University.

Irvin made his remarks as part of a lecture honoring the late Michael Rich, a nationally recognized criminal law scholar who died of cancer while serving as a budding scholar for Professor Jennings and Elon Law in 2016. rice field. He was introduced by Elon Law Interim Dean Alan Woodlief.

“I never imagined that in February 2020, we would host a legal review symposium virtually on Zoom,” Woodlief said in his remarks. “What a difference two and a half years and a global pandemic make? We are being asked to adapt to new ways of thinking about functionality.”

Elon Law Review was founded in 2008 as a student-run and student-edited academic journal at the Elon University School of Law. Each issue of Elon Law Review strives to advance legal education and scholarship through intelligent discussion and analysis of the law.

In addition to publishing an annual issue examining new and important topics for legal scholars, Elon Law Review hosts an annual symposium on topics emerging in the legal community.

Additional panel discussion at the 2022 symposium

Clockwise from top left: Elon Law Associate Professor Kathy Conner, St. Mary’s College Law Associate Professor Zoe Niesel, Elon Law Assistant Professor Crystal Klodomir, Elon Law Professor and Dean Emeritus Luke Bierman.

“Educate Lawyers Through the Pandemic”
Moderator: Associate Professor Cathy Connor

  • Luke BiermanProfessor of Law, Former Dean of Elon University School of Law
  • Crystal ClodomirAssistant Professor, Elon University School of Law
  • Zoe NeeselProfessor of Law and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, St. Mary’s University School of Law

Summary of discussion: Legal education has integrated elements of online learning into coursework for years before the pandemic. What proved truly disruptive in March 2020 was the need to go online-only almost overnight. At the same time, the introduction of Zoom, WebEx, and Teams into law school classes has often benefited many students with perceived learning disabilities. With an entire generation of students exposed to online learning, opportunities for online learning will become permanent in both undergraduate and law schools, whether or not faculty want to return to pre-COVID practices. It is expected that

Clockwise from top left: Elon Law Associate Professor Patricia Perkins, Lauren Hausmann L’21 Attorney, and Lauren Brazil Attorney for North Carolina Fair Housing Project Legal Aid.

“Citizenship in COVID: From Vaccines to Abortion”
Chaired by Associate Professor Patricia Perkins

  • Lauren Brazil, fair housing projectNorth Carolina Legal Aid
  • Lauren HausmanIntellectual Property Lawyer, Elon University Law School Graduate

Summary of discussion: It can be argued that there is a common thread connecting the topics of housing, reproductive health, vaccines and shelter-in-place orders: body autonomy. How much control can state or federal governments have over the choices individuals have regarding their personal health? Can multifamily landlords require tenants to be vaccinated? Where is the government going beyond its powers by closing businesses or requiring people to wear masks? It promises to raise even more questions as we face Courts have repeatedly affirmed that people with disabilities have the right to decide where and how they live, but discrimination remains widespread, especially in housing without reasonable accommodation.

Clockwise from top left: Elon Law Professor Steve Friedland, Elon Law Emergency Legal Services Attorney Margaret Dudley, and Southern Illinois University School of Law Professor Angela Upchurch.

“The Courts: How COVID Has Affected the Application of Justice”
Moderated by Professor Steve Friedland

Summary of argument: The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way courts operate. Technology and remote access have become essential tools in providing legal services, but they are not without their drawbacks. It has also been noted that people are more contentious and less willing to compromise when appearing in front of a computer than negotiating in person. The ability to do so will be an important part of resolving outstanding litigation resulting from court closures early in the pandemic. COVID-19 has also exacerbated pressure, emotional exhaustion, career burnout and increased turnover in legal, law enforcement and social services. All of this undermines the application of justice.

Insights from the Editors of the Elon Law Review Symposium

“This year’s symposium showcased the industry’s resilience and innovation, while reflecting on weaknesses across the systems we have relied on. Experts unlock new ideas and paradigms for the future of the legal field. , but prompted the industry to ask key questions as experts continue to navigate the post-COVID era. I am very grateful to all the panelists and moderators for their help.” – Cameron Capp L’22, Symposium Editor-in-Chief

“At the symposium, there was a broad discussion of how the pandemic has disrupted and changed the legal profession. Elon has a large number of lawyers, not only educators, but also Main Campus alumni and lawyers who participate in the program. It was especially reassuring to see the Jeffrey Hudgins L’22, Symposium Co-Editor

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