The Zooming of Federal Civil Litigation

104 Judicature (Fall 2020 Forthcoming)

UC Hastings Research Paper Forthcoming

17 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2020

See all articles by Scott Dodson

Scott Dodson

UC Hastings Law

Lee Rosenthal

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Christopher Dodson

Bracewell LLP

Date Written: August 18, 2020


Federal civil practice has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by using new technologies, including, prominently, remote technology. How will reliance on remote technology during this pandemic transform lawyers, courts, and the law going forward? What changes to civil litigation practice should be embraced, what changes should be discarded, and what changes should await further technological advances? We explore these questions. Surveying some key pandemic-fueled developments of remote technology in federal civil litigation, we conclude that the pandemic’s push toward the zooming of legal practice is likely to leave enduring marks. We identify the most promising uses for remote technology, strike cautionary notes for more pervasive implementation, and offer some suggestions for moving forward.

Keywords: zoom, remote technology, venue, personal jurisdiction, discovery conference, pretrial conference, pandemic, COVID-19, coronavirus, depositions, oral argument

Suggested Citation

Dodson, Scott and Rosenthal, Lee and Dodson, Christopher, The Zooming of Federal Civil Litigation (August 18, 2020). 104 Judicature (Fall 2020 Forthcoming), UC Hastings Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Scott Dodson (Contact Author)

UC Hastings Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States
415-581-8959 (Phone)


Lee Rosenthal

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

United States

Christopher Dodson

Bracewell LLP ( email )

1251 Avenue of the Americas 49th Floor
New York, NY 10020
United States

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