RQN‘s litigation team recently posted an important victory in the perhaps first “virtual trial” in Utah courts when RQN attorneys Robert Rice and John Mackay obtained a preliminary injunction order following three days of evidence presented on the Utah Third District Court’s WebEx video conference platform.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Rice and Mr. Mackay examined witnesses who testified under oath from safe locations across three different states and presented documentary evidence with the assistance of RQN paralegal Michelle Somers, who, like Mr. Rice and Mr. Mackay, worked while self-isolating at home.
The onset of the pandemic posed numerous scheduling and logistical problems that threatened to delay important proceedings. Through persistence and effective use of RQN’s telework system, RQN litigators developed a strategy for collecting evidence, organizing exhibits and preparing for an unprecedented trial conducted exclusively online. The court applied all rules of evidence and conducted the proceedings like any other live trial, with direct, cross and redirect examinations. In this case, justice delayed would have been justice denied, but RQN’s team found ways to continue to prosecute its client’s claims as expeditiously and effectively as possible.
Mr. Rice said, “There’s no question that the pandemic has been a challenge for everyone. But the issues many litigation clients face are especially acute, so we looked for workarounds to help our client protect his interests.”
Mr. Mackay added that a delay “would have been devastating for our client,” but that being prepared to proceed electronically “permitted us to do everything possible to serve our client in what can only be described as a crisis on multiple fronts.”
The case involved a claim by RQN’s client concerning the non-enforceability of restrictive covenants flowing from a total stock purchase of the client’s companies (software and technology).
RQN has a full COVID-19 Response Group ready to assist clients in whatever challenges the current market may throw at them.