Crypto-currencies are not currencies in the traditional sense, although they can sometimes be used to make payments. They are stored online in a “digital wallet” and act more like investment vehicles or securities, often with a high degree of volatility.
2021 has been a year in which different cryptocurrencies have continued their growth, marking an ATH (record price) with the market reaching close to US$ 3 billion for the first time.
The crypto market experienced a strong momentum and managed to consolidate also through two new instruments, NFTs and DeFi, despite the failure of ICOs (initial cryptocurrency offerings) during 2017 and 2018, which drove away many investors due to the large number of fraudulent products.
If you are wondering what are the best bitcoin stocks to buy or if you are new to the world of cryptocurrencies and want to get started in this market, there are several options to invest that promise good returns.
After 12 years of its debut, Bitcoin remains the most important cryptocurrency in market value despite its high volatility, with a figure amounting to $1,069,414,089,906 and a year-on-year growth in its price of more than 200%.
Bitcoin is software based on blockchain technology, a decentralized database that runs on more than 15,000 computers (nodes) around the world and records transactions and account balances.
To secure that network, miners rely on a consensus mechanism known as proof-of-work (PoW), expending computing power to solve cryptographic puzzles and validate blocks of transactions.
Analysts say its price is below where it should be and that December is very likely to be the month when it can achieve a rebound that will give it greater prospects for 2022.
Ethereum, the perennial second place behind Bitcoin in the cryptocurrency market, has the great potential to be the first in the next few years.
It trades at $4100 and analysts point out that the last time ETH had a similar drop, it then had a significant rebound in price.
It dominates much of the financial transactions and payments across all sectors, as well as providing the infrastructure for much of the DeFi protocols.
In terms of ‘altcoins’, Solana which recently fell 12%, presents itself as the best option for investment as it seeks to establish a new smart contract network to compete with Ethereum.
Polkadot is very similar to Ethereum in allowing developers to create smart contracts and applications. From a functionality standpoint, it may grow a lot over the next year.
The cryptocurrency of the world’s largest exchange can have a great growth during 2022, as long as it is easier and cheaper to transact with Binance crypto, there will be more movement in the market, which would influence the trading price.
DUBLIN, Dec. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The “High Technology Greenhouses Market Research Report by Component, by Glazing, by Structure Type, by Type, by Ventilation Type, by Region – Global Forecast to 2026 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.
The Global High Technology Greenhouses Market size was estimated at USD 12.99 billion in 2020 and expected to reach USD 14.52 billion in 2021, at a CAGR of 12.15% to reach USD 25.86 billion by 2026.
The report provides market sizing and forecast across five major currencies – USD, EUR GBP, JPY, and AUD. It helps organization leaders make better decisions when currency exchange data is readily available. In this report, the years 2018 and 2019 are considered historical years, 2020 as the base year, 2021 as the estimated year, and years from 2022 to 2026 are considered the forecast period.
Competitive Strategic Window:
The Competitive Strategic Window analyses the competitive landscape in terms of markets, applications, and geographies to help the vendor define an alignment or fit between their capabilities and opportunities for future growth prospects. It describes the optimal or favorable fit for the vendors to adopt successive merger and acquisition strategies, geography expansion, research & development, and new product introduction strategies to execute further business expansion and growth during a forecast period.
FPNV Positioning Matrix:
The FPNV Positioning Matrix evaluates and categorizes the vendors in the High Technology Greenhouses Market based on Business Strategy (Business Growth, Industry Coverage, Financial Viability, and Channel Support) and Product Satisfaction (Value for Money, Ease of Use, Product Features, and Customer Support) that aids businesses in better decision making and understanding the competitive landscape.
Market Share Analysis:
The Market Share Analysis offers the analysis of vendors considering their contribution to the overall market. It provides the idea of its revenue generation into the overall market compared to other vendors in the space. It provides insights into how vendors are performing in terms of revenue generation and customer base compared to others. Knowing market share offers an idea of the size and competitiveness of the vendors for the base year. It reveals the market characteristics in terms of accumulation, fragmentation, dominance, and amalgamation traits.
Company Usability Profiles:
The report profoundly explores the recent significant developments by the leading vendors and innovation profiles in the Global High Technology Greenhouses Market, including Argus Control Systems, Certhon, Cultivar, DALSEM, Desert Growing, Greentech Agro LLC, Growlink, Heliospectra, International Greenhouse Company, Kheyti, Logiqs, Lumigrow, Motorleaf, Netafim, Nexus Corporation, Prospera Technologies, Pure Harvest, Rough Brothers, Sensaphone, and Startup Ecosystem.
The report provides insights on the following pointers:
1. Market Penetration: Provides comprehensive information on the market offered by the key players
2. Market Development: Provides in-depth information about lucrative emerging markets and analyze penetration across mature segments of the markets
3. Market Diversification: Provides detailed information about new product launches, untapped geographies, recent developments, and investments
4. Competitive Assessment & Intelligence: Provides an exhaustive assessment of market shares, strategies, products, certification, regulatory approvals, patent landscape, and manufacturing capabilities of the leading players
5. Product Development & Innovation: Provides intelligent insights on future technologies, R&D activities, and breakthrough product developments
The report answers questions such as:
1. What is the market size and forecast of the Global High Technology Greenhouses Market?
2. What are the inhibiting factors and impact of COVID-19 shaping the Global High Technology Greenhouses Market during the forecast period?
3. Which are the products/segments/applications/areas to invest in over the forecast period in the Global High Technology Greenhouses Market?
4. What is the competitive strategic window for opportunities in the Global High Technology Greenhouses Market?
5. What are the technology trends and regulatory frameworks in the Global High Technology Greenhouses Market?
6. What is the market share of the leading vendors in the Global High Technology Greenhouses Market?
7. What modes and strategic moves are considered suitable for entering the Global High Technology Greenhouses Market?
Key Topics Covered:
2. Research Methodology
3. Executive Summary
4. Market Overview
5. Market Insights
5.1. Market Dynamics
18.104.22.168. Trend of indoor farming and changing consumer perception towards greenhouse deployments
22.214.171.124. Favorable government regulations and incentives for high tech greenhouse
126.96.36.199. Need for increasing production of locally health safe and fresh vegetables
188.8.131.52. High cost of design and deployment
184.108.40.206. Profitability limited to large land holdings
220.127.116.11. Emerging vertical farming technology
18.104.22.168. Intelligent environment & crop control, high tech cultivation systems, and intelligent energy management
22.214.171.124. Development of industrial greenhouses
126.96.36.199. Integration of greenhouse technologies
188.8.131.52. No available protection from greenhouse whiteflies
5.2. Cumulative Impact of COVID-19
6. High Technology Greenhouses Market, by Component
6.2. Control Systems
6.3. HVAC Systems
6.4. Irrigation Systems
6.5. LED Grow Lights
6.6. Material Handling Equipment
6.7. Sensors and Cameras
6.8. Valves and Pumps
7. High Technology Greenhouses Market, by Glazing
7.2. Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Glazing
7.3. Glass Glazing
7.4. Ultra Violet Stabilized Low-Density Polyethylene
8. High Technology Greenhouses Market, by Structure Type
8.2. Curved roof Type
8.3. Gable roof Type
8.4. Quonset Type
9. High Technology Greenhouses Market, by Type
10. High Technology Greenhouses Market, by Ventilation Type
10.2. Naturally Ventilated
10.3. Passive Ventilation
11. Americas High Technology Greenhouses Market
11.6. United States
12. Asia-Pacific High Technology Greenhouses Market
12.10. South Korea
13. Europe, Middle East & Africa High Technology Greenhouses Market
13.8. Saudi Arabia
13.9. South Africa
13.11. United Arab Emirates
13.12. United Kingdom
14. Competitive Landscape
14.1. FPNV Positioning Matrix
14.1.2. Business Strategy
14.1.3. Product Satisfaction
14.2. Market Ranking Analysis
14.3. Market Share Analysis, By Key Player
14.4. Competitive Scenario
14.4.1. Merger & Acquisition
14.4.2. Agreement, Collaboration, & Partnership
14.4.3. New Product Launch & Enhancement
14.4.4. Investment & Funding
14.4.5. Award, Recognition, & Expansion
15. Company Usability Profiles
15.1. Argus Control Systems
15.5. Desert Growing
15.6. Greentech Agro LLC
15.9. International Greenhouse Company
15.15. Nexus Corporation
15.16. Prospera Technologies
15.17. Pure Harvest
15.18. Rough Brothers
15.20. Startup Ecosystem
For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/45toxt
Research and Markets
Laura Wood, Senior Manager
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SOURCE Research and Markets
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced the parent company’s name is being changed to “Meta” to represent a future beyond just its troubled social network.
Chris Delmas | AFP | Getty Images
The move comes after the company, which is now called Meta, tried and failed to launch a cryptocurrency that could be used to send money online to anyone in the world via Facebook products. The head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts, David Marcus, announced on Tuesday that he will be leaving the company at the end of the year.
Previously, the company said advertisers could submit an application and include information including any licenses they obtained, whether they were traded on a public stock exchange or other relevant public background on their business.
Going forward, the company is expanding the number of regulatory licenses it accepts to 27 from 3.
“We’re doing this because the cryptocurrency landscape has continued to mature and stabilize in recent years and has seen more government regulations that are setting clearer rules for their industry,” the company said in a statement.
The company banned cryptocurrency ads in January 2018 but scaled back that ban slightly in May 2019. The ban had prevented start-ups in the cryptocurrency and blockchain fields to promote their work and reach potential customers on Facebook and Instagram.
Henry Love, a former employee on Facebook’s small business team, said the company’s new policy is huge for the crypto industry and will allow more retail investors to access cryptocurrencies than ever before.
“With more openness and transparency for what crypto companies can do, we will see more adoption for the cryptocurrency industry and the metaverse than ever before,” said Love, managing partner of Fundamental Labs, which has invested $500 million in the cryptocurrency industry since 2016. “This is a game changer for mass adoption.”
Emad Hasan, another former Facebook employee, said the new policy will also be a boon for start-ups working on blockchain, which is the technology used to make cryptocurrencies work.
“These companies had been in a spot where they couldn’t advertise on Facebook. They couldn’t drive people to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency,” said Hasan, CEO of Retina AI, a start-up that helps brands target high-value customers on social media. “This will enable the average day-to-day person to do this.”
Facebook has scaled back its own ambitions in cryptocurrency significantly over the last year. After outlining plans for a currency and a digital wallet in 2019, Facebook faced stiff backlash from lawmakers and regulators worldwide. The company finally released its digital wallet product, Novi, in October. But the digital currency, which is now named Diem and is run by an independent association, remains unreleased to the public.
Clarification: After publication, a company spokesperson noted that Facebook will continue to reject cryptocurrency ads from companies that do not submit one of the 27 regulatory licenses the company is accepting.
It’s been two weeks since President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. After the United States’ infrastructure system received a C- score from the American Society of Civil Engineers this year, it’s clear that this bill is
long overdue. While it’s not the original $2.25 trillion that Biden had proposed, the $1.2 trillion package is set to help give American infrastructure the facelift it needs, especially when it comes to advancements in technology. If you aren’t clear on what the bill will contain, we’ve laid out the main points below.
Why We Need It
It’s no secret that American infrastructure needs work. From crumbling roads and bridges to unsafe drinking water and outdated power grids, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is designed to make the United States a safer and more accessible place.
The past few years have seen a variety of infrastructure-related incidents: Lead-plumbing water crises such as what Flint, Michigan experienced; the Texas power grid going down; and the Camp fires in California. These and other events underscore the need for critical updates before more incidents like this occur.
The pandemic, meanwhile, highlighted the need for robust and widespread online connectivity so that people could work from home and students could learn virtually. The lockdown particularly cast a light on how little access some rural populations, tribal communities, and low-income urban areas had to fast, reliable web services. The need for dependable power, internet, and safe infrastructure has reached a tipping point and is
needed now more than ever.
What Does It Entail?
From the $1.2 trillion package, roughly $75 billion will be directed at advancements in technology, including broadband, cybersecurity, and electric vehicles and their charging ports.
Of that $75 billion, $65 billion is dedicated to updating broadband and internet alone. This part of the bill will also provide subsidies for those who cannot afford internet, similar to the aid brought by the COVID relief bill.
Approximately $7.5 billion will go to the installation of electric car charging stations to help encourage the use of electric vehicles and combat climate change. Another $5 billion will go towards purchasing electric busses for schools and public transportation to cut back on
the use of diesel fuel.
Credit: (Shigemi Okano/ Shutterstock)
A separate $65 billion will go towards updating aging power grids. After the catastrophic grid failure in Texas last year and with the expected increased use of electric vehicles, the dependency on electricity will be at an all-time high. This part of the bill will help fund
the building of a stronger and more reliable power grid to minimize future black-outs. This funding will also go towards the creation of cleaner electrical sources, such as hydrogen instead of coal.
When Will We See Results?
The benefits of this bill will be seen over the next five years. Funding will come from unused COVID-19 relief funds as well as petroleum relief sales and 5G service auctions.
Other impacts of the infrastructure bill will include repairs to transportation infrastructure including railroads, airport terminals, and new bridges and roads.
With courthouses shuttered by COVID-19, civil legal systems in nearly every state moved quickly to adopt new tools to support online operation—a decisive response that enabled millions of Americans to access the courts and resolve legal issues despite the pandemic. But like any transformative change, this effort was not without its challenges. Now, a new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts looks at the successes, stumbles, and lessons learned from a historic year in state civil courts.
Even before COVID-19 struck, digital tools held the promise of a legal system that is more open, with clear, understandable procedures; equitable, allowing all users to assert their rights and resolve disputes; and efficient, guaranteeing due process and offering easy, timely interactions. In particular, online tools have the potential to help a core group of litigants—those without attorneys.
Because civil courts do not provide lawyers for those who cannot afford one, roughly 30 million Americans each year must navigate potentially life-altering legal matters, including eviction, debt collection, and child support, on their own. As the pandemic accelerated courts’ adoption of digital technologies, national groups, such as the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators, called on courts to embrace technology to improve the court experience for all users.
Pew researchers sought to understand the nature and impact of courts’ pandemic-driven deployment of technological tools—specifically, electronic filing (e-filing) of legal documents, virtual platforms that allowed people to appear before judges over the internet, and electronic notarization (e-notarization). They found that courts adopted technological tools at an unprecedented pace and scale, that they leveraged the new tools to increase litigant participation and improve efficiency, and that the changes disproportionally benefited litigants with legal representation and sometimes created new problems for those without lawyers.
Despite having almost no history of using virtual proceedings, beginning in March 2020, civil courts in every state and Washington, D.C., initiated online hearings at record rates. For example, the Texas courts had never held a remote civil hearing before the pandemic but conducted more than a million across its civil and criminal divisions from March 2020 to February 2021. Similarly, Michigan courts held more than 35,000 video hearings from April 1 to June 1, 2020, compared with no such hearings during the same two-month period in 2019.
Before the pandemic, 37 states and D.C. allowed people without lawyers to electronically file court documents in at least some civil cases, but since March 2020, 10 additional states have created e-filing processes according to Pew’s review of state court pandemic emergency orders. Additionally, 11 states and D.C. made pandemic-driven changes to their policies on e-notarization, bringing to 42 the number of states, plus D.C., that either allow e-notarization or have waived their notarization requirements.
And although national data is limited, court officials and practitioners throughout the country, including judges and attorneys, report increases in civil court appearance rates. In Arizona, for instance, the civil courts posted an 8% year-over-year drop in the rate of default, or automatic, judgment—which results when defendants fail to appear in court—from June 2019 to June 2020, indicating an increase in participation.
In addition, the digital options that states implemented were not always available in all localities, for all types of cases, or for people without attorneys. Online tools made it easier for litigants with lawyers to file cases in bulk, but those without representation, especially those with other accessibility needs, often could not access the new systems. For example, national debt collectors ramped up their filings using digital tools to initiate thousands of lawsuits each month, but litigants who were among the 42 million Americans without broadband internet service struggled to access new online court services.
Further, many new state court technologies were not designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities or limited English proficiency, two populations that have often been overlooked in the design and implementation of court systems and procedures. As part of its analysis, Pew examined nearly 10,000 state and local pandemic-related orders, compiled by a team of researchers at Wesleyan University, and found that none of the orders specifically addressed technology accommodations for these groups.
To address these challenges and realize the full potential of these technology investments, Pew recommends that state courts take three key steps: Combine technology with process improvements to better facilitate resolution of legal problems, incorporate feedback from court users and test technological products with intended users before adopting them, and collect and analyze data to help guide decisions on the use and performance of technological solutions. As legal systems continue to modernize and adopt even more online operations, thoughtful implementation of digital tools will be critical to ensure that courts are open, equitable, and efficient.
Erika Rickard is the director and Qudsiya Naqui is an officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ civil legal system modernization project.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 forced public services to shift to online operations in a matter of weeks. For the nation’s courts, that meant reimagining how to administer justice. Media coverage has focused mainly on the effects of the digital transformation in criminal courts, but a rapid deployment of new technology also took place in the civil legal system.
This adoption of digital tools in the civil courts has significant real-world implications. Unlike their criminal counterparts, civil courts do not guarantee a right to counsel, meaning they do not provide attorneys for those who cannot afford them. This leaves roughly 30 million Americans each year to navigate potentially life-altering legal problems, such as eviction, debt collection, and child support cases, on their own. For these litigants who are responsible for a variety of complex tasks—including finding the appropriate court to hear their case, filing motions, arguing before a judge, and interpreting laws—technology holds the promise of a more accessible system with better outcomes.
Even before the pandemic, national judicial groups such as the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) had called on courts to use technology to improve the experience of litigants, especially people who do not have attorneys. And just months after the pandemic began, states throughout the country moved to adopt a range of technological tools to keep their court systems available to the public, quickly shifting from requiring people to submit paper documents and appear in person before judges to widespread use of electronic filing (e-filing) systems, virtual hearing platforms, and other tools.
To begin to assess whether, and to what extent, the rapid improvements in court technology undertaken in 2020 and 2021 made the civil legal system easier to navigate, The Pew Charitable Trusts examined pandemic-related emergency orders issued by the supreme courts of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The researchers supplemented that review with an analysis of court approaches to virtual hearings, e-filing, and digital notarization, with a focus on how these tools affected litigants in three of the most common types of civil cases: debt claims, evictions, and child support. The key findings of this research are:
Civil courts’ adoption of technology was unprecedented in pace and scale. Despite having almost no history of using remote civil court proceedings, beginning in March 2020 every state and D.C. initiated online hearings at record rates to resolve many types of cases.1 For example, the Texas court system, which had never held a civil hearing via video before the pandemic, conducted 1.1 million remote proceedings across its civil and criminal divisions between March 2020 and February 2021. Similarly, Michigan courts held more than 35,000 video hearings totaling nearly 200,000 hours between April 1 and June 1, 2020, compared with no such hearings during the same two months in 2019.
Courts moved other routine functions online as well. Before the pandemic, 37 states and D.C. allowed people without lawyers to electronically file court documents in at least some civil cases. But since March 2020, 10 more states have created similar processes, making e-filing available to more litigants in more jurisdictions and types of cases. In addition, after 11 states and D.C. made pandemic-driven changes to their policies on electronic notarization (e-notarization), 42 states and D.C. either allowed it or had waived notarization requirements altogether as of fall 2020.
Courts leveraged technology not only to stay open, but also to improve participation rates and help users resolve disputes more efficiently. Arizona civil courts, for example, saw an 8% drop year-over-year in June 2020 in the rate of default, or automatic, judgment—which results when defendants fail to appear in court—indicating an increase in participation.2 Although national and other state data is limited, court officials across the country, including judges, administrators, and attorneys, report increases in civil court appearance rates.3
The accelerated adoption of technology disproportionately benefited people and businesses with legal representation—and in some instances, made the civil legal system more difficult to navigate for those without. Although all states and D.C. took steps to allow court business to continue during pandemic lockdowns, those options were not always available in all localities, for all types of cases, or for people without attorneys.4 Litigants with lawyers, on the other hand, found that technological improvements made it easier for them to file cases in bulk: For example, after courts briefly closed, national debt collectors who file suits in states across the U.S. quickly ramped up their filings, using online tools to initiate thousands of lawsuits each month
By contrast, litigants without legal representation, especially those with other accessibility needs, faced significant disadvantages, even when systems were technically open to them. For instance, users without high-speed internet service or computers faced significant hurdles when trying to access courts using the newly available tools. And although technology holds promise to improve the legal system for people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, courts—like various other government services—have struggled to ensure that their technology is accessible to all users.5 Of nearly 10,000 state and local pandemic-related orders reviewed for this study, none specifically addressed technology accommodations for people with disabilities and limited English proficiency.
Court officials have made clear that improvements in technology must benefit all parties. CCJ and COSCA approved a resolution in July 2020 recommending that their members “ensure principles of due process, procedural fairness, transparency, and equal access are satisfied when adopting new technologies.”6
Based on research and in consultation with CCJ, COSCA, and other experts, Pew has identified three key steps courts could take to realize the full potential of improvements in technology-driven tools:
- Combine technological tools with process improvements to better facilitate resolution of legal problems.
- Before adopting new tools, test them with and incorporate feedback from intended users.
- Collect and analyze data to help guide decisions on the use and performance of the tools.
The monumental efforts made by state courts in 2020 and 2021 represent an important step toward modernization. This report examines courts’ transformation during the pandemic and assesses the extent to which it has made the civil legal system more open, with operations and procedures that are clear and understandable; equitable, so that all users can assert their rights and resolve disputes even without legal representation; and efficient, to ensure that people’s interactions with courts ensure due process and feel easy and timely. And finally, this report explores additional steps court systems could take to build upon their progress.
This study employed a two-pronged approach to data collection and analysis of state civil court responses to the coronavirus pandemic. To understand how rapid adoption of online processes affected the ways litigants could interact with the civil legal system, Pew researchers examined pandemic-related emergency orders issued by the supreme courts of all 50 states and D.C. between March 1 and Aug. 1, 2020. That five-month period featured the greatest amount of decision making related to court operations, technology adoption, and the suspension and resumption of various types of cases, of any span since the onset of the pandemic.
The analysis focused on technologies adopted to address court processes that occur across case types, including e-filing, virtual hearings, and e-notarization, as well as the management of specific types of cases—eviction, debt collection, and child support modifications—that fill civil dockets and acutely affect economic outcomes for individuals and families. Which technological tools were examined reflects the importance of two functions— court appearances and document submission—to litigants’ efforts to advance their cases.
Further, the research included a review of about 70 academic and “gray literature” sources (i.e., studies that have not been peer reviewed). About half of those related to how technology adoption affected the experiences of litigants in the three types of cases, including advantages and barriers to online court processes. The other half helped to place pandemic-related adoption of virtual hearings and e-filing within the broader historical context of courts’ use of technology.
Pew researchers also examined data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on broadband internet and related technologies necessary for accessing online court services as well as from a Wesleyan University database of state and local emergency court orders to identify how often those orders referenced accessibility for people with disabilities and limited English proficiency. Please see the separate methodological appendix for more details.
Courts adopted technology at unprecedented speed and scale
In a typical court case, the first step in resolving a legal problem has been filing paperwork with the court clerk to initiate a lawsuit. The opposing sides then appear in court to learn the status of the case, report on whether they have been able to reach a settlement, and determine the steps needed before trial. The process also typically involves submission of evidence, including materials that need to be signed and witnessed by a third party, as well as status reports on negotiations, examination of evidence, and other tasks. And if the dispute is not resolved before the trial date, the parties then appear before a judge.
Even long before the pandemic, court officials recognized that technology would need to become a permanent feature of the legal system. In 2006, CCJ and COSCA called for courts to use technology to improve affordability, efficiency, and access.7 Other judicial bodies, as well as individual judges, have made similar pronouncements and recommendations over the past 20 years.8
However, that guidance had not delivered the sort of sweeping change that could benefit a variety of users. During the first two decades of the 21st century, some courts had been slowly moving their processes online. Their efforts focused mainly on two sets of functions: the completion of discrete tasks, including filing and notarizing documents; and the hearing of disputes by a judge. (See Figure 1.)
Digital Tools Can Help Courts Streamline Processes, Litigants Prepare for and Resolve Cases
Steps of a civil case and the technologies that support them
(c) 2021 The Pew Charitable Trusts
Navigating Civil Courts Without an Attorney
Even before the pandemic, the many steps and complex documentation required to proceed in a case made the civil legal system difficult to navigate for people without lawyers. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) estimates that 3 in 4 civil cases involve at least one party without an attorney.9 People without counsel are perhaps the largest and most diverse group affected by court processes, and, whether plaintiffs or defendants, they face myriad barriers.
People seeking to initiate cases in civil courts are met with a byzantine process that presumes a basic level of legal knowledge. Understanding complex language and knowing the correct forms to file and how to submit them are prerequisites for civil plaintiffs. And the civil court system is at least equally difficult for individuals who are being sued. Defendants may not receive, or may be confused by, notice of a lawsuit against them, which can result in a failure to appear in court and a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff.10 When courthouses were still open, litigants without lawyers often endured long lines, struggled to complete complicated forms without legal help, or could not get the necessary time off of work, find child care, or arrange transportation to even make it to a courthouse.11
Although courts clearly recognize the need to be useful to all litigants, they were designed by and for lawyers and have historically had difficulty meeting the needs of people without counsel—and even more so certain subpopulations within that group. Unrepresented people who have disabilities or limited English proficiency encounter additional barriers to access that civil courts overall have not addressed. Although court officials have long acknowledged the issues faced by people without lawyers and the potential of technology to remove some of those barriers, changes had been halting before the pandemic.
Further, the extent to which court systems were already online before the pandemic struck—and the types of technologies they were using—varied widely from one state to the next and between cities and counties within the same state.
However, as COVID-19 swept across the country, courthouses shut their doors, and state court systems moved swiftly to digitize their processes. Beginning in March 2020, all 50 states and D.C. adopted statewide or local rules to govern digital operations, shifting civil court business online in two areas: moving from in-person to virtual hearings and digitizing practical tasks—such as preparing and tendering court documents—that litigants must complete before a hearing. In particular, e-filing tools allow litigants to submit documents online, and e-notarization systems facilitate electronic verification of documents.
For evictions, one of the most common types of civil case, no jurisdiction in the country had consistently used virtual meeting technology for these proceedings before the pandemic, but by November 2020, 82% of all state courts were permitting or encouraging remote hearings, with 15% mandating them.12 (See “Evictions Proceeded During the Pandemic.”)
And similar shifts took place across civil court dockets, as states quickly moved to use virtual meeting technology. For instance, neither Michigan nor Texas had conducted a single video hearing for a civil court case before the pandemic, but between April 1 and June 1, 2020, they conducted more than 35,000 and 122,000 video hearings, respectively.13
Further, before the pandemic, many states had some procedures for the electronic submission and verification of documents, but the COVID-19 lockdowns forced the adoption of additional tools and systems to allow business to continue. And the changes reflect court officials’ ability to put user needs before their own preferences and traditions, namely, complex paper-based and in-person functions.
As of 2019, 37 states and D.C. allowed litigants without lawyers to use e-filing to upload complaints, responses, and other documents directly to court systems, and 34 states had authorized e-notarization for official documents, such as written testimony and statements. (See Figure 2.)
As a result of the pandemic, 10 states created new paths for people without lawyers to file papers electronically using dedicated software or other mechanisms, such as email, because either they previously had no e-filing system or their existing tools were accessible only by attorneys. And beginning in March 2020, seven states began allowing electronically notarized documents for the first time.14 (See Figure 3.) For instance, Alabama courts had long allowed electronic signatures but did not accept electronically, remote, or virtually notarized documents before April 2020; in New Jersey, a 2020 law allowed for temporary use of e-notarization.15
Additionally, seven states and D.C. responded to the paperwork challenge by identifying alternatives to notarization.16 Ohio, for example, waived notarization requirements during the public health emergency, and South Carolina now allows court users to submit affidavits, which previously had to be notarized, with simple written certification from the filer that the affidavits’ statements are true.17 Such solutions reflect the courts’ commitment to examining operations with users’ experiences in mind and devising practical solutions to improve processes, especially for people without lawyers, rather than engaging in a blanket digitizing of all court tasks.
Court officials demonstrated a commitment to a more open, equitable, and efficient civil legal system
These changes are impressive not only because they show the ingenuity of courts in the face of an emergency and allowed court operations to continue during the pandemic, but also because they upended long-standing court norms to better serve court users. And as courts deployed online tools, court officials set out goals for ensuring that those technologies were implemented in ways that addressed inequities in civil legal proceedings.
In July 2020, CCJ and COSCA adopted a resolution declaring that “state courts must ensure that all parties to a dispute—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, English proficiency, disability, socioeconomic status, or whether they have professional legal representation—have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in court processes and be heard by a neutral third party who will render a speedy and fair decision.”18
CCJ and COSCA also jointly released the following six guiding principles to help courts build on the technological advances made during the coronavirus pandemic:19
- Ensure principles of due process, procedural fairness, transparency, and equal access are satisfied when adopting new technologies.
- Focus on the user experience.
- Prioritize court-user driven technology.
- Embrace flexibility and willingness to adapt.
- Adopt remote-first (or at least remote-friendly) planning, where practicable, to move court processes forward.
- Take an open, data-driven, and transparent approach to implementing and maintaining court processes and supporting technologies.
States are also working to create technology guidance. In September 2020, the Texas Judicial Council adopted a statewide framework for implementing online dispute resolution to which all county and local courts must adhere.20 The document gives straightforward guidance on how cases that cannot be resolved online should proceed to court, including procedural requirements to ensure that all parties have an opportunity to be heard and to present their cases before a judge.
In April 2020, the Michigan Virtual Courtroom Task Force released the Michigan Trial Courts Virtual Courtroom Standards and Guidelines to ensure that virtual courtrooms operate efficiently and with transparency,21 and published a comprehensive toolkit to help courts in the state comply with the new guidance. The guidelines are based on an assessment of best practices from courts across the country and the state and cover every step in the virtual hearing process, from notification and attorney-client communications to technical standards and press access.
And in June 2020, New York created the Commission to Reimagine the Future of New York’s Courts, a group of judges, lawyers, academics, and technology experts that is studying how courts operated during the pandemic. In April 2021, the group issued technology recommendations to “improve the efficiency and quality of justice services during the ongoing health crisis and beyond.”22
Technology increased participation in civil courts
Early data indicates that court technology is beginning to deliver on its potential. During 2020, judges and other state court officials reported increases in case participation rates, which they have attributed to the move to remote proceedings.23 Although recent data on participation in the civil system is limited, experts have noted an overall uptick across court settings. Before the pandemic, civil courts were plagued by a critical challenge to their integrity: low participation, particularly among defendants. From 2010 to 2019, more than 70% of respondents in debt collection suits across multiple jurisdictions failed to appear in court or respond to summonses, resulting in a default judgment for the plaintiff.24 According to Michigan Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, that rate of participation has “literally flipped. The number of people who now show up is as high as the number of people who didn’t show up in physical courtrooms.”25
Case participation is typically measured in two ways: by the number of people filing or initiating lawsuits and by the count of defendants in cases filed against them. Data reviewed by Pew researchers suggests that by the second metric, online proceedings may have driven an increase in participation.26 In June 2020, for example, Arizona civil courts saw an 8% decline in the rate of default judgment resulting from litigants’ failure to appear, compared with June 2019, indicating an increase in participation.27 And the state found similar results at the local level. In Arizona’s largest county, Maricopa, the failure-to-appear rate for eviction cases decreased from nearly 40% in 2019 to approximately 13% in February 2021.28
That finding is consistent with data from other court settings, which shows that failure-to-appear rates dropped dramatically in several states at the start of the pandemic. For instance in criminal courts, New Jersey reported that the no-show rate fell from 20% in the first week of March 2020 to 0.3% the week of March 16, when the state began using virtual hearings, and Michigan reported that its rate dropped from 10.7% in April 2019 to 0.5% in April 2020.29 Similarly, court observers in Texas report that with the switch to video hearings, parent participation in child welfare cases increased in May and June 2020 compared with in-person hearings before the pandemic.30 These state court reports of improved participation rates are consistent with national survey data in which judges cited increased participation as the leading improvement to come from the move to virtual proceedings.31
The boost in court appearances that followed the shift to virtual hearings is consistent with pre-pandemic assertions that reducing the day-to-day costs of coming to court—such as transportation, child care, lost wages, and travel time—would increase people’s ability to meaningfully engage in court cases.32 In addition, technology can be used to help people show up to court if tools are made available in multiple languages and are designed to serve people with a range of abilities. And although recent indications are promising, courts need more data to analyze and confirm the trend toward greater participation.
Further, the most active court users—attorneys—have reported a range of benefits associated with the move to online processes. According to one survey from Texas, most judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys said that remote proceedings saved time and improved efficiency.33 And in interviews, attorneys in Florida, Missouri, Montana, and Texas reported that not having to travel to and wait at court enabled them to serve more clients than before the pandemic.34
Further, examples from across the country indicate that technology, when implemented thoughtfully, can effectively help people navigate the civil court system, even when they are not represented by an attorney. For instance, Suffolk Law School in Massachusetts, in collaboration with courts in three states, developed Court Forms Online, a website that improves on typical e-filing tools by offering a more user-friendly interface that guides litigants through various court processes. The site walks users through the steps for obtaining a domestic violence restraining order, applying for eviction protection under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moratorium, and even handling certain appellate matters.35 In one example, a woman was able to use forms provided through the website to electronically file a motion to the state’s Appeals Court and obtain a stay of her improper eviction just as the constable was beginning to move her out of her home.36
In recognition of technology’s potential to make it easier for people to participate in court processes, more court officials plan to embrace virtual services. In 2021, CCJ and COSCA passed a resolution promoting the continued use of remote hearings; and in a June 2021 survey of 240 magistrates, trial judges, and appellate justices from across the country, a majority said they expect remote proceedings to become a permanent fixture of state courts.37
Technology often made the civil legal system harder to navigate for people without lawyers
Although people using the civil legal system, regardless of whether they had legal representation, benefited from courts’ rapid adoption of technology, the advantages were disproportionately enjoyed by parties with lawyers.
This gap between the promise of technology to make courts more equitable for individuals without attorneys and the reality of its implementation is consistent with previous analyses of pioneering court systems that adopted new technologies around the turn of the century. In 2010, the NCSC examined seven states—Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont—at the forefront of court “re-engineering,” a restructuring of services that included the expanded use of technology.38 But most of the solutions that the center observed were either exclusively for lawyers—such as e-filing systems accessible only by attorneys—or required too much legal expertise to be helpful to people using the courts without professional assistance.
Court processes are not fully open, transparent
Court administrators moved quickly to respond to the pandemic and communicate with the public about changes to court operations. But that rapid action also created some confusion for court users. Information shared on public websites and directly with litigants about online processes did not always fully explain key details, such as how and where documents should be submitted or which types of cases would be served by virtual hearings.
And in those instances, court users sometimes did not know where to turn for help and clarification.39 As more operations moved online during 2020, courts worked to untangle complicated processes and used tools such as legal information portals, virtual help desks, and kiosks in public libraries to provide more usable and accessible public information, but these efforts have also been inconsistent.40
During the pandemic, technology has continued to disproportionately benefit parties with counsel and high-volume users of the court system, such as certain debt collectors, creating challenges to court officials’ goal of ensuring equitable processes. Even before the pandemic, debt collection lawsuits—the most common type of civil case—presented a challenge to the integrity of the courts. A 2020 Pew analysis found that in the several states where data was available, less than 10% of consumers had a lawyer and more than 70% of debt suits ended in default judgment for the collector.41
However, since the pandemic began, these cases have shown the inequitable availability of electronic court processes.42
Large debt collectors, operating with significant professional legal assistance, leveraged new court technology to their advantage. A review of records from county and state court websites by ProPublica, an independent investigative news organization, found that some major collectors were able to accelerate their filings during the pandemic by using electronic systems to initiate lawsuits in bulk.43 Texas court data likewise demonstrates that debt collectors were able to continue to bring lawsuits at the same rate in fiscal year 2020 as in the previous year.44 And according to researchers in California, when courthouses in that state closed in April 2020, debt collectors were able to file as many suits against consumers as they had in April 2019, thanks to electronic filing.45
However, electronic filing was not equally available to all: In eight states, people without lawyers had almost no way to file court documents in debt claims against them, leaving most debt defendants in those states unable to participate in court proceedings so that the judges could hear all the facts and render verdicts accordingly.46
This research also found similar access and equity problems in eviction cases. Technology would ideally both allow plaintiffs to quickly file cases and give defendants a clear and easy way to respond. Instead, in nine states, people without lawyers had almost no avenue for filing paperwork in eviction cases. Such rules unintentionally advantaged landlords, who have representation in an estimated 90% of eviction cases, compared with 10% for tenants.47 (See “Eviction Cases Proceeded During the Pandemic.”)
A lack of consistent rules and offerings of online tools has also limited the potential efficiency that people could gain from their use. For instance, parents who have child support obligations but experience job losses or wage cuts are required to seek a modification of their payments to reflect their change in circumstance. Online tools could offer these people a faster, easier way to request a change and save them the cost of a trip to the courthouse. But many courts did not include online filing for parents in their 2020 technology innovations. Of the 43 states plus D.C. in which courts normally handle child support modifications, 33 and D.C. issued pandemic-related orders or set up formal procedures to allow individuals without lawyers to submit modification requests electronically. The remaining 10 states effectively rendered parents without counsel unable to modify their payments in a timely fashion while courthouses were closed. (See Figure 4.) Parents who fail to modify and subsequently miss payments are subject to enforcement actions, such as garnishment of wages and even jail time.
Even before the pandemic, 1 in 3 U.S. households faced a housing, family, or debt issue serious enough to result in an interaction with the civil legal system.48 The sort of planning that identifies and supports the needs of users involved in such high-volume, high-need cases in civil court may not have been possible leading up to and during the first months of the COVID-19 outbreak, but now that the foundational work of moving processes online is done, court officials have an opportunity to improve and enhance those systems to better serve all litigants.
Eviction Cases Proceeded During the Pandemic
As the pandemic raged across the country, federal, state, and local officials put policies in place to halt eviction cases, with the goal of keeping people housed and preventing the spread of COVID-19. At the federal level, Congress enacted a nationwide moratorium on evictions from March to June 2020 as part of the coronavirus rescue package. After that expired, the CDC implemented another national freeze in September 2020, which was extended five times before being struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in August 2021.49 In addition, 13 state supreme courts and 11 governors issued orders as early as March 2020 postponing the filing of eviction and foreclosure cases, and 36 states suspended the enforcement of eviction orders—the stage in an eviction when residents lose their homes—by court or executive order.50
Yet eviction cases continued to dominate civil dockets during the pandemic despite these historic moratoriums.
Why did eviction cases proceed?
A typical eviction process takes place in five stages: notice from landlord to tenant that eviction is forthcoming, filing of a case by the landlord, court hearing, issuing of a judgment and writ of eviction, and removal of tenants from their homes by the local sheriff’s department. Except for the first and last, these steps play out in civil court.
Although most of the emergency government orders prevented the final stage of eviction, just 54.5% of jurisdictions suspended eviction filings during 2020.51 And even policies that sought to freeze filings did not do so automatically. Instead, policies such as the CDC moratorium, which was in place from September 2020 until mid-August 2021, added new steps that tenants had to complete to have their cases paused.
As a result, millions of people had to assemble and submit paperwork to demonstrate to the court that they qualified for protection because of pandemic-related economic hardship, and data shows that very few successfully did so. For example, court data from Harris County, Texas, revealed that in 2020, tenants filed CDC declarations in only 16% of eligible eviction cases.52
Ultimately, about 1 million evictions moved through the civil court system during the first year of the pandemic.53
Courts’ technology choices hindered participation for some people without lawyers
During the pandemic, courts—like schools, government agencies, and some businesses—discovered that shifting processes from in-person to online does not necessarily make them easier to navigate. For people without the tools needed to use court technology, such as high-speed internet and a sufficiently powerful computer, the move toward modernization failed to improve their interactions with the civil legal system and may even have made them more difficult. And although technology can be used to make the courts more accessible to people with disabilities and limited English proficiency,54 that promise remains largely unrealized. In practice, the new technologies often limited, rather than expanded, the ways in which these groups could interact with the civil system.
Despite their many documented benefits, the digital tools that courts implemented during 2020 often widened the chasm between people with and without attorneys. This was especially true of users with additional access needs.
Internet and computer access and experience
Access to internet service is the baseline requirement for web-based court technologies. Yet, despite the steady growth of internet use over the past two decades, as of 2018, 42 million U.S. adults lacked reliable broadband connectivity, including disproportionately low rates of access for certain populations and locations.55 For instance, U.S. Census Bureau research showed that 36.4% of Black households and 30.3% of Hispanic households had neither a computer nor broadband subscription, compared with 21.2% of White and 11.9% of Asian households.56
Further, families with incomes below $25,000 were less likely than those with higher incomes to have even minimal internet connectivity, and tribal and rural regions lagged far behind urban areas in terms of internet access.57 According to a 2018 FCC report, slightly more than 77% of rural populations had access to an internet connection that met the agency’s benchmark for reliable connectivity, compared with 98.5% of urban populations. Tribal populations fared even worse, at 72.3%.58
In addition, many court users access the internet only via smartphone. Approximately a quarter of Hispanic adults identify as “smartphone only” internet users.59 Notably, location is not a driver of disparities in mobile internet access, with figures close to 100% no matter where one lives: 99.4% for rural populations and 97.5% for tribal populations, provided they have a mobile phone. But mobile access has limitations, particularly related to streaming live content—such as meetings via Zoom, WebEx, or similar platforms—which are basic requirements for participation in virtual hearings.
Although the courts cannot expand people’s access to broadband internet or computers, they can—and many do—recognize these roadblocks and adjust their processes to account for these challenges. For instance, 28 states and D.C. installed drop boxes outside courthouses to help litigants submit court documents during the pandemic.60 And in some states, courts have permitted litigants for whom video technology is not an option to participate in hearings via telephone.
Even when users have sufficient tools to access a court’s online services, e-filing or participating in a video hearing requires a level of digital experience that many people lack. A 2019 Pew Research Center report found that most U.S. adults could answer fewer than half the questions correctly on a digital knowledge quiz.61 Younger adults and those with bachelor’s degrees were more likely to know the answers to questions about internet privacy measures, such as two-factor authentication, which many users must navigate to take advantage of online court processes.
Access for users with disabilities and limited English proficiency
State courts, like other public institutions, have specific obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act related to access for people with disabilities, and federal law also requires courts to provide language assistance for those with limited English proficiency.62 But according to the National Center for Access to Justice’s 2021 Justice Index, which scores states from 0 to 100 on their adoption of specific policies related to disability accessibility and language access, including court access for people without lawyers, 44 states scored below 50 for accessibility, and 31 scored below 50 for language access.63
Research indicates that, during the height of the pandemic, people relying on court documents for information related to obtaining an interpreter, ensuring reasonable accommodations for a disability, or generally accessing the courts during courthouse closures would have found little.64 In a review of nearly 10,000 court documents from all 50 states and D.C., between February and October 2020, researchers from Wesleyan University found that only 253 documents mentioned language access and just 154 contained information for people with disabilities. In total, less than 3% of the documents referenced access for people with limited English proficiency, less than 1.5% mentioned the needs of people with disabilities, and none specifically addressed technology accommodations for these populations.
Now that courts have taken the step of adopting technology, they have an opportunity to use it to address longstanding inequities for these populations. By making sure their technology is accessible and multilingual, and offering a range of high- and lower-tech tools and resources to meet the diverse needs of their users, courts can ensure that technology improves the experiences of all litigants.
CCJ’s and COSCA’s adoption of technology principles is an important first step toward ensuring that measures taken to modernize the civil legal system benefit all users. However, now that state courts have practical, firsthand experience with legal technologies, court officials realize the urgent need to apply such guidance. To that end, and drawing on work with state and local court systems across the country, Pew has identified three important steps court officials should take to make their processes more open, equitable, and efficient:
1. Combine technological tools with process improvements.
Technology, if layered on top of complex court processes, will only reinforce the status quo: complicated, attorney-centered procedures that are difficult for people without lawyers to navigate. Court officials must examine the processes that litigants have to complete during various types of cases to identify opportunities to simplify forms and procedures.
One example of such an effort is that several states reviewed notarization policies, which in many instances led to the elimination of traditional verification requirements, such as in-person document review by a certified notary public. Another is how Hawaii leveraged its online dispute resolution (ODR) project to re-examine and revise its small claims process. ODR was originally developed as a dispute resolution mechanism in the e-commerce sector, and courts around the country began adopting it in 2014 to allow litigants to negotiate and resolve disputes among themselves outside of court business hours. Hawaii took the opportunity presented by the new system to add an early review step in which judges ensure that the collector-plaintiffs own the debts they are attempting to recoup before the case moves forward.65 The state also developed and embedded in its ODR platform a user-friendly fee waiver application and review function so that litigants without lawyers must navigate only a single online platform.66
2. Test new tools with intended users and incorporate their feedback.
Without rigorous testing of technology platforms, courts may find themselves locked into expensive systems that do little to simplify the legal process for their users. Testing not only helps courts refine and improve upon these tools, but it also gives them an opportunity to proactively engage with end users to make sure that the technology products are functional and meet their needs.
Court ODR pilot projects undertaken before the pandemic demonstrate that it is indeed possible to incorporate user feedback in the deployment of technology. For example, in 2019, the Utah courts engaged an external researcher to conduct a usability study of its ODR platform for small claims cases, which included testing by end users. The research uncovered various issues with the platform’s accessibility and functionality, and the court was able to make targeted improvements.67
To help more courts undertake similar efforts, CCJ recommends models of participatory design, including convening stakeholders to establish shared goals, seeking design and implementation guidance from community organizations and key user groups, and incorporating user feedback mechanisms and usability testing in planning.68
3. Collect and analyze data to help guide technology decisions.
Most states do not share information with the public in an easy-to-understand format. For example, Texas is the only state that collects and makes publicly available information on debt claims lawsuits, including outcomes, across all courts.69
Some courts have begun to share their data with users and the media, for public information purposes, and with external evaluators to enable monitoring of their technology innovations. For example, courts in Florida, Michigan, and Texas have engaged third-party researchers to study their dispute resolution platforms. To support such analyses, NCSC developed a framework for evaluating ODR and made it available to courts across the country. And analysts at Indiana University are partnering with their state’s courts to examine the impact of online hearings on litigants without lawyers.70 These state efforts will help courts better understand the effects of their online processes, leverage the benefits, and mitigate any harms.
CCJ and COSCA have promulgated a set of data elements that courts should collect and report on—as well as explanations of what those data elements can reveal about court processes pre- and post-pandemic—that states can use to create guidelines for the collection and reporting of court data.71 Having operated under pandemic protocols for more than a year, civil courts should engage researchers and other experts to help in developing metrics to measure modernization efforts, collecting data, identifying pandemic-era successes and areas for improvement, and fine-tuning technologies and systems. Such a thorough examination will allow courts to implement data-informed process improvements that enable them to better help people without attorneys navigate and resolve legal issues.
As courts collect and analyze the data on technological solutions, they should consider the following questions:
- What data must be tracked to answer key questions?
- How can litigants, attorneys, court staff, and other stakeholders be engaged in the process of improving the court experience?
- What can the civil court system learn from the experiences of other courts that are implementing and testing similar changes?
An analysis of efforts thus far not only will help courts operate more efficiently but also will help them improve the civil legal system on a broad scale.72
Technology has the potential to substantially improve the civil legal system. Digital tools helped courts remain operational during the public health emergency and are poised to become permanent fixtures of the legal system. By studying how technology worked well—or did not—during the COVID-19 pandemic, courts can better understand their effects on litigants, especially those without lawyers, and undertake improvements to help Americans settle disputes and avoid life-altering consequences.
As courts work to assess and improve these tools, they will need to incorporate feedback from court users, test multiple technology products, collect and analyze use and performance data, combine technology with other process improvements, and implement the principles and safeguards that court officials already have identified as critical to ensuring effective use of technology. With these steps and proven tools, states can modernize the civil courts and make them more open, equitable, and efficient than ever before.
- E. Scigliano, “Zoom Court Is Changing How Justice Is Served,” The Atlantic, April 13, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/05/can-justice-be-served-on-zoom/618392.
- Conference of State Court Administrators, National Association for Court Management, and National Center for State Courts’ Joint Technology Committee, “Judicial Perspectives on ODR and Other Virtual Court Processes” (2020), https://www.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0023/34871/2020-05-18-Judicial-Perspectives.pdf; National Center for State Courts, “Will Remote Hearings Improve Appearance Rates?” May 13, 2020, https://www.ncsc.org/newsroom/at-the-center/2020/may-13.
- See, for example: G. Jurva, “The Impacts of the Pandemic on State & Local Courts Study 2021: Remote Hearings, Legal Technology, Case Backlogs, and Access to Justice” (Thomson Reuters 2021), https://legal.thomsonreuters.com/en/insights/reports/impacts-of-the-pandemic-on-state-local-courts?form=thankyou&gatedContent=%252Fcontent%252Fewp-marketing-websites%252Flegal%252Fgl%252Fen%252Finsights%252Freports%252Fimpacts-of-the-pandemic-on-state-local-courts; Butler Snow, “Texas Appellate Law Podcast,” podcast audio, July 15, 2021, https://www.butlersnow.com/2021/07/disruption-and-increasing-access-to-justice-chief-justice-bridget-mccormack/; National Center for State Courts, “Study of Virtual Child Welfare Hearings: Impressions from Judicial Interviews” (2021), https://www.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/65520/Study-of-Virtual-Child-Welfare-Hearings-Judicial-Interviews-Brief.pdf.
- Connecticut did not have any Supreme Court pandemic emergency orders, but remote hearings did take place on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, according to state contacts.
- American Bar Association, “Report on the Future of Legal Services in the United States” (2016), https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/images/abanews/2016FLSReport_FNL_WEB.pdf; E.C. Baig, “How a Wave of New Tech Products Are Making Life Easier for People With Disabilities,” USA Today, Sept. 10, 2018, https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2018/09/10/technology-improves-people-disabilities-firms-respond-moral-legal-demands/835232002/; D.S. Raja, “Bridging the Disability Divide Through Digital Technologies” (World Bank Group, 2016), http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/123481461249337484/WDR16-BP-Bridging-the-Disability-Divide-through-Digital-Technology-RAJA.pdf; J. Rubin-Wills, “Language Access Advocacy After Sandoval: A Case Study of Administrative Enforcement Outside the Shadow of Judicial Review,” N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change 36, no. 3 (2012): 465-511, https://socialchangenyu.com/review/language-access-advocacy-after-sandoval-a-case-study-of-administrative-enforcement-outside-the-shadow-of-judicial-review/.
- Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators, “Resolution 2: In Support of the Guiding Principles for Post-Pandemic Court Technology” (2021), https://ccj.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/51193/Resolution-2-In-Support-of-the-Guiding-Principles-for-Post-Pandemic-Court-Technology-.pdf.
- Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators, “Resolution 13: The Emergence of E-Everything” (2006), https://ccj.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/23420/01182006-the-emergence-of-e-everything.pdf.
- T.M. Clarke, “Reengineering: The Importance of Establishing Principles,” in Future Trends in State Courts (2010): 31-32, https://cdm16501.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/ctadmin/id/1627. In his 2019 State of the Judiciary address, then-Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady highlighted the promise of a range of technological approaches, noting, “Our future can no longer be about taking small steps or standing still. We need to think big and take big steps. Every day we must seek to achieve what can be imagined.” J.Q. Lynch, “Iowa Chief Justice Urges Lawmakers to ‘Think Big,’’’ Sioux City Journal, Jan. 16, 2019, https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/iowa-chief-justice-urges-lawmakers-to-think-big/article_da82d5c2-99e7-5258-a24c-dc54c944258c.html. See also, for example: M.E. Recktenwald, chief justice, “State of the Judiciary”(Honolulu, Jan. 24, 2019), https://www.courts.state.hi.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/State-of-the-Judiciary_FINAL_01-24-19.pdf; H.D. Melton, chief justice, “2020 State of the Judiciary Address”(Atlanta, Feb. 26, 2020), https://www.gasupreme.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Judi20.pdf; J.D. Kemp, chief justice, “State of the Judiciary”(Little Rock, Arkansas, June 14, 2019), https://www.arcourts.gov/courts/supreme-court/state-judiciary; M.G. Heavican, chief justice, “State of the Judiciary” (Omaha, Nebraska, Jan. 17, 2019), https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/sites/default/files/State-of-Judiciary-2019.pdf; M.E. Barbera, chief judge, Maryland Court of Appeals, “2019 State of the Judiciary Address to the General Assembly of Maryland”(Annapolis, Maryland, Feb. 6, 2019), https://mdcourts.gov/sites/default/files/import/coappeals/speeches/soj2019.pdf; J. Williams, trial court administrator, Massachusetts Trial Court, “2019 State of the Judiciary” (Boston, Oct. 30, 2019), https://www.mass.gov/service-details/2019-state-of-the-judiciary-addresses.
- National Center for State Courts, “Landscape of Civil Litigation in State Courts” (2015), https://www.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/13376/civiljusticereport-2015.pdf.
- R. Zorza, “Some First Thoughts on Court Simplification: The Key to Civil Access and Justice Transformation,” Drake Law Review 61 (2013): 845-81, http://www.zorza.net/Simple.pdf.
- National Center for State Courts, “Justice for All State Planning Documents: Lessons From the Field” (2018), https://www.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/26305/jfa-lessons-learned-final-2018.pdf; National Center for State Courts, “Guiding Principles for Post-Pandemic Court Technology” (2020), https://www.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/42332/Guiding-Principles-for-Court-Technology.pdf.
- This analysis is based on emergency orders from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The list of websites used is available upon request. See also E. Benfer, R. Koehler, and A. Alexander, “COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria & Housing Policy: Federal, State, Commonwealth, and Territory,” Boston University, COVID-19 U.S. State Policies Database, Aug. 23, 2021, https://statepolicies.com/policy-by-topic/economic-precarity/housing/.
- DocVerify, “What States Allow Electronic Notary?” accessed Aug. 3, 2021, https://www.docverify.com/Products/E-Notaries/What-States-Allow-Electronic-Notary.
- E. Rickard and Q. Naqui, “Response to Pandemic Pushes State Court Modernization Forward,” The Pew Charitable Trusts, July 21, 2020, https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2020/07/21/response-to-pandemic-pushes-state-court-modernization-forward.
- Pew analysis of state supreme court COVID-19 pandemic emergency orders issued from March 1 through Aug. 1, 2020. Three states— Missouri, New Hampshire, and South Carolina—adopted both e-notarization and alternatives to notarization.
- Rickard and Naqui, “Response to Pandemic”; Supreme Court of Ohio, “Temporary Notarization Forms,” accessed Sept. 20, 2021, https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/LegalResources/Rules/notarization/.
- National Center for State Courts, “Guiding Principles for Post-Pandemic Court Technology.”
- Texas Judicial Council, “Civil Justice Committee Report and Recommendations” (2020), https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1449780/civil-justice-committee-2020_0923_final.pdf.
- Michigan State Court Administrative Office, Michigan Trial Courts Virtual Courtroom Standards and Guidelines (2020), https://www.courts.michigan.gov/4a1e83/siteassets/court-administration/standardsguidelines/operations/vcr_stds.pdf.
- J. DiFiore, chief judge of the Court of Appeals and chief judge of the State of New York, “The State of Our Judiciary 2021,” March 2, 2021, https://www.nycourts.gov/whatsnew/pdf/21_SOJ-Speech.pdf; Commission to Reimagine the Future of New York’s Courts, “Report and Recommendations of the Future Trials Working Group” (2021), https://www.nycourts.gov/whatsnew/pdf/future-trials-working-grp-april2021.pdf.
- Jurva, “The Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on State & Local Courts.”
- The Pew Charitable Trusts, “How Debt Collectors Are Transforming the Business of State Courts” (2020), https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2020/05/how-debt-collectors-are-transforming-the-business-of-state-courts.
- Butler Snow,“Texas Appellate Law Podcast.”
- National Center for State Courts, “Will Remote Hearings Improve Appearance Rates?”; Scigliano, “Zoom Court.”
- Conference of State Court Administrators, National Association for Court Management, and National Center for State Courts’ Joint Technology Committee, “Judicial Perspectives on ODR and Other Virtual Court Processes.”
- COVID-19 Continuity of Court Operations During a Public Health Emergency Workgroup, “Post-Pandemic Recommendations” (Arizona Supreme Court, 2021), https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/judicial/2021-az-post-pandemic-rec.pdf.
- National Center for State Courts, “Will Remote Hearings Improve Appearance Rates?”
- E.G. Thornburg, “Observing Online Courts: Lessons From the Pandemic,” Family Law Quarterly 54, no. 3 (2021), https://www.americanbar.org/groups/family_law/publications/family-law-quarterly/volume-54/issue-3/observing-online-courts-lessons-the-pandemic/.
- Jurva, “The Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on State & Local Courts.”
- J. Greacen, “Remote Appearances of Parties, Attorneys and Witnesses: A Review of Current Court Rules and Practices” (Self-Represented Litigation Network, 2017), https://www.srln.org/node/1269/report-remote-appearances-parties-attorneys-and-witness-review-currentcourt-rules-practices.
- J.I. Turner, “Remote Criminal Justice,” Texas Tech Law Review 53 (2021): 197-271, https://papers.ssrn.com/a=3699045.
- A.L. Bannon and D. Keith, “Remote Court: Principles for Virtual Proceedings During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond,” Northwestern University Law Review 115, no. 6 (2021): 1875-920, https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/nulr/vol115/iss6/7.
- Court Forms Online, “About Us: The Document Assembly Line Project,” accessed Aug. 20, 2021, https://courtformsonline.org/about.
- D. Colarusso, director, Suffolk Law School Legal Innovation and Technology Lab, email to The Pew Charitable Trusts, July 23, 2021.
- Jurva, “The Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on State & Local Courts.” See also: A. Reed and M. Alder, “Zoom Courts Will Stick Around as Virus Forces Seismic Change,” Bloomberg Law, July 30, 2020, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/zoom-courts-will-stick-around-as-virus-forces-seismic-change.
- D.J. Hall, “Reengineering Lessons From the Field,” Future Trends in State Courts (2010): 36-41, https://cdm16501.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/ctadmin/id/1625.
- See, for example: Z. Tillman, “Going to Court Without a Lawyer Was Always Hard. The Pandemic Has Made It Much Harder,” Buzzfeed, May 15, 2020, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetillman/coronavirus-courts-closed-civil-court-legal-help#news-content.
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “Remote/Virtual Court Services,” accessed Sept. 20, 2021, https://www.mass.gov/info-details/remotevirtual-court-services; E. Rickard and D. White, “Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio Residents Seek Legal Information Amid the COVID-19Pandemic,” The Pew Charitable Trusts, May 19, 2020, https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2020/05/19/illinois-michigan-and-ohio-residents-seek-legal-information-amid-the-covid-19-pandemic.
- The Pew Charitable Trusts, “How Debt Collectors Are Transforming the Business of State Courts.”
- P. Kiel and J. Ernsthausen, “Capital One and Other Debt Collectors Are Still Coming for Millions of Americans,” ProPublica, June 8, 2020, https://www.propublica.org/article/capital-one-and-other-debt-collectors-are-still-coming-for-millions-of-americans.
- State of Texas, Office of Court Administration, “Annual Statistical Report for the Texas Judiciary: Fiscal Year 2020” (2020), https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1451853/fy-20-annual-statistical-report_final_mar10_2021.pdf.
- C.J. Raba, clinical instructor, University of California, Irvine (presentation, Paths to Justice, Sept. 14, 2021). See also A. DiPierro, “Debt Collection Lawsuits Compound COVID Woes for Some Bay Area Residents,” Bay City News Foundation, Aug. 20, 2021, https://localnewsmatters.org/2021/08/20/debt-collection-lawsuits-compound-covid-woes-for-some-bay-area-residents/.
- See: A. Warren, S. McKernan, and B. Braga, “Before COVID-19, 68 Million U.S. Adults Had Debt in Collections. What Policies Could Help?” Urban Wire (blog), Urban Institute, April 17, 2020, https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/covid-19-68-million-us-adults-had-debtcollections-what-policies-could-help.
- H. Schultheis and C. Rooney, “A Right to Counsel Is a Right to a Fighting Chance,” Center for American Progress, Oct. 2, 2019, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/reports/2019/10/02/475263/right-counsel-right-fighting-chance.
- E. Rickard, “Many U.S. Families Faced Civil Legal Issues in 2018,” The Pew Charitable Trusts, Nov. 19, 2019, https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2019/11/19/many-us-families-faced-civil-legal-issues-in-2018.
- Alabama Association of Realtors v. Department of Health and Human Services et al., 21-5093, 594 (Supreme Court of the United States, Aug. 26, 2021). Congress extended the CDC-issued moratorium in December 2020, and the Biden administration further extended it in January, March, June, and August 2021. See: National Housing Law Project and National Low Income Housing Coalition, “Federal Moratorium on Evictions for Nonpayment of Rent” (2021), https://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Overview-of-National-Eviction-Moratorium.pdf; L. Wamsley, “Here’s What You Need to Know About the New Eviction Ban,” National Public Radio, Aug. 6, 2021, https://www.npr.org/2021/08/06/1025212834/cdc-new-eviction-ban-moratorium-renters-landlords.
- Pew analysis of state supreme court COVID-19 pandemic emergency orders issued from March 1 through Aug. 1, 2020.
- E.A. Benfer et al., “State and Federal Eviction Moratoria and Rental Housing Stabilization Measures During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (forthcoming, 2021).
- J. Reichman, “First Results of the CDC Eviction Moratorium in Houston,” January Advisors (blog), Feb. 8, 2021, https://www.januaryadvisors.com/cdc-eviction-moratorium-houston/.
- P. Hepburn et al., “U.S. Eviction Filing Patterns in 2020,” Socius 7 (2021): 1-18, https://doi.org/10.1177/23780231211009983.
- B.R. Hough, “Let’s Not Make It Worse: Issues to Consider in Adopting New Technology,” in “Using Technology to Enhance Access to Justice,” Harvard Journal of Law and Technology 26, no. 1 (2012): 262, https://jolt.law.harvard.edu/articles/pdf/v26/26HarvJLTech241.pdf. The American Bar Association issued standards on language access: Standard 4.3 and accompanying commentary highlight the changing nature of technology that could benefit litigants with limited English proficiency. See: American Bar Association, “Standards for Language Access in Courts” (2012), https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/legal_aid_indigent_defendants/ls_sclaid_standards_for_language_access_proposal.authcheckdam.pdf. Further, the National Center for State Courts documented some specific uses of technology for language access, including video remote interpreting and remote translation of written documents. See: National Center for State Courts, “Call to Action: Achieving Civil Justice for All” (2016), https://www.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/25581/ncsc-cji-report-web.pdf.
- N. McCarthy, “Report: 42 Million Americans Do Not Have Access to Broadband,” Forbes, Feb. 7, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2020/02/07/report-42-million-americans-do-not-have-access-to-broadband-infographic/?sh=751bda10b12a; the Pew Research Center, “Internet/Broadband Fact Sheet” (2021), https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/.
- U.S. Census Bureau, “The Digital Divide: Percentage of Households by Broadband Internet Subscription, Computer Type, Race and Hispanic Origin,” Sept. 11, 2017, https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2017/comm/internet.html.
- National Telecommunications and Information Administration, “NTIA Data Reveal Shifts in Technology Use, Persistent Digital Divide” (2020), https://www.ntia.doc.gov/blog/2020/ntia-data-reveal-shifts-technology-use-persistent-digital-divide#main-content.
- Federal Communications Commission, “2020 Broadband Deployment Report” (2020), https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/reports/broadband-progress-reports/2020-broadband-deployment-report.
- S. Atske and A. Perrin, “Home Broadband Adoption, Computer Ownership Vary by Race, Ethnicity in the U.S.,” The Pew Research Center, July 16, 2021, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/07/16/home-broadband-adoption-computer-ownership-vary-by-race-ethnicity-in-the-u-s.
- This analysis is based on emergency orders from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. See the separate methodological appendix, available at https://www.pewtrusts.org/-/media/assets/2021/11/clsm-court-tech-methodological-appendix.pdf.
- E.A. Vogels and M. Anderson, “Americans and Digital Knowledge,” the Pew Research Center, Oct. 9, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2019/10/09/americans-and-digital-knowledge.
- T.E. Perez, assistant attorney general, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, letter to chief justice/state court administrator, Aug. 16, 2010, https://www.lep.gov/final_courts_ltr_081610.pdf.
- National Center for Access to Justice, “About the Justice Index,” accessed Aug. 20, 2021, https://ncaj.org/state-rankings/2020/disability-access/about-justice-index.
- National Science Foundation, “Award Abstract # 2028981—Rapid: Procedural Changes in State Courts During COVID-19,” accessed Aug. 20, 2021, https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2028981&HistoricalAwards=false.
- M. Acosta and A. Min, “Tiny Chat 64: Hawaii ODR,” National Center for State Courts, September 2021, https://www.ncsc.org/newsroom/public-health-emergency/tiny-chats.
- D. Hirsch, principal court management consultant, National Center for State Courts, email to The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oct. 13, 2020. See also: National Center for State Courts, “Eight Lessons to Consider for ODR Implementation” (2020), https://www.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/58016/8-Lessons.pdf.
- S. Butler et al., “The Utah Online Dispute Resolution Platform: A Usability Evaluation and Report” (working paper, University of Arizona, 2020), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3696105.
- M. Hagan, “Participatory Design for Innovation in Access to Justice,” Daedalus 148, no. 1 (2019): 120-27, https://doi.org/10.1162/DAED_a_00544; National Center for State Courts, “Guiding Principles for Post-Pandemic Court Technology.”
- The Pew Charitable Trusts, “How Debt Collectors Are Transforming the Business of State Courts.”
- A.L. Miller, P. Hannaford-Agor, and K. Genthon, “An Evaluation and Performance Measurement Framework for Online Dispute Resolution: Assessing Improvements in Access to Justice” (National Center for State Courts, 2021), https://www.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/65641/ODR-Evaluation-Performance-Measure-Framework.pdf.
- National Center for State Courts, “Open Data Principles to Promote Court Technology Post-Pandemic: Key Data Elements to Collect and Report” (2020), https://www.ncsc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0028/59671/Open-Data-Principles-Corrected-2.pdf.
- J. Karp, “Trial Alternatives Getting Fresh Look With COVID-19 Backlog,” Law360, Feb. 4, 2021, https://www.law360.com/articles/1351450/trial-alternatives-getting-fresh-look-with-covid-19-backlog; R. Lewis, “Justice Delayed: Courts Overwhelmed by Pandemic Backlog,” CalMatters, Jan. 19, 2021, https://calmatters.org/justice/2021/01/justice-courts-overwhelmed-pandemic.
With remote work on the rise, building a successful remote work policy for your company is an important part of the future of your business.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for building a remote work policy.
1. Decide which roles are remote.
Look at the positions that can be done remotely…but not necessarily. Explore remote-capable and non-capable jobs.
Not all jobs are suitable for remote work. A software engineer may easily work from home with a laptop and internet access, but not a forklift driver. Therefore, it’s critical to know which jobs may easily go from the workplace to the home.
Next, look at positions that are office or warehouse bound and see what tasks may be done remotely. Allow employees to possibly work from home a few days every pay period. Find ways for all employees, regardless of job, to stay active. Remind them to check in often and contribute to the team.
2. Create new rules as needed.
Decide on the company’s current rules and policies and update the ones that need to change.
Rules, regulations, and policies may still apply even though workers no longer work in the workplace. Usually, all corporate policies apply. State these clearly and completely. Employees will enjoy being clear about their responsibilities.
Some policies and resources stay in effect whether or not workers are in the office. Some of these include ethics, attendance, sick pay, cell phone usage, insurance, and privacy. Reiterate all standard policies before adding new ones.
3. Create work plans for remote personnel.
Before remote work begins, always define corporate goals and duties. Separate the company goals into realistic tasks. Look at and break down corporate goals with department leaders into tangible goals and tasks.
In addition, assign managers for creating teamwork plans. Finally, have them discuss these plans with their teams and check in to ensure targets are met.
As part of the transition to remote work, supply the tools needed by employees to work from home. Remote employees need the proper tools to do their jobs. Similarly, they require the ability to interact with coworkers, communicate with managers, and overall feel part of a team.
Some questions to ask when building this part of the policy:
- What software will we need?
- Do all households have a computer and internet access?
- What if they do not?
- What tech help can we provide employees?
Make sure that you address work measuring. It’s possible to measure output using time logs, although these aren’t precise.
Building a list of how success is to be evaluated will be helpful. The list should include tasks finished, words written, sales closed, phone calls made, etc. Every position has its own metrics. Bring your staff in to explore the best ways to measure their efforts to corporate goals.
4. Create a template to identify communication styles.
Be explicit about what you expect of your workers’ communication. Remote workers need clear communication to succeed. Your remote workers must know how often to check-in and how to collaborate with others. In addition, they need to know when to join virtual meetings and what they need to share.
Software is available for holding virtual meetings, sharing, presenting remotely, and managing projects. Make sure to specify your company’s policy on these matters. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you begin:
- When are individual meetings?
- When are team meetings?
- How do I provide clients with virtual presentations?
- How long must their phones ring?
- When and how will they report their daily tasks?
- To whom do they report any tech issues?
5. Build out your sections on benefits, insurance, and liability difficulties.
First and foremost, always notify employees of their remote work rights.
Though they aren’t in the workplace, their safety is still your concern. A clear remote work policy informs employees of their rights. These rights deal with what happens in case of harm, and how much the company is responsible for damages. These are some questions to ask yourself about this section:
- What will be insured?
- Is the employee still covered?
- When is the corporation liable for injuries?
- What about health insurance?
6. Create a robust security policy.
When your employees work from home, it’s critical that they understand the need of protecting sensitive corporate data. It’s probably already covered in your company’s confidentiality agreement, but it’s worth reiterating.
In order to protect company data, create and establish VPNs. Make the VPN a requirement for remote work. Virtual private networks encrypt network connections and mask browsing activity. They are a valuable safety measure. Your policy should clearly define VPN usage. In addition, install anti-virus software on all devices.
Similarly, update all security measures for your remote workforce. One of the primary difficulties with remote labor is the insecurity of web access. Home PCs tend to be more vulnerable and might be hacked. Therefore, determine what software is required and provide your staff training on how to use it.
7. Decide how you’ll pay remote employees.
Always be upfront and honest about any compensation changes.
Working remotely may affect your workers’ perks or pay. Clearly define what costs workers can claim and how they can do so. Consult your employees on benefits. It will assist you to understand your workers’ priorities.
Cryptocurrency market is showing some strength today, shrugging off concerns from the new coronavirus variant Omicron, that has roiled global markets recently.
Bitcoin price today gained slightly, trading at $57,051.09, but still below the record highs, with a market capitalisation over $1 trillion. The world’s largest crypto asset had recently hit all-time high of around $69,000 and is up over 95.88% this year (year-to-date or YTD) so far.
The global crypto market cap is currently $2.66 trillion, up marginally over the previous day.
Meanwhile, Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency surged is up over 6% at $4,713, according to the data from Coindesk.
Ether has outperformed Bitcoin by the greatest amount this year since the native token of the Ethereum network was launched in 2015 as an alternative to the original cryptocurrency.
The token is making a run toward record highs once again, a rally whose trek was upended at the end of last week amid wider risk-asset turmoil. But after it bounced off its 50-day moving average on Monday, Ether has broken out to the upside and has advanced around 13% since Friday.
While both are down from record highs set earlier this month, Ether has gained about 530% since December, compared with a doubling in value by Bitcoin, widening the performance gap between the two by more than 400 percentage points.
Dogecoin price was down 2.99% today at $0.2142 whereas Shiba Inu rose more than 16% to $0.00004508, as per Coinmarketcap. Bankless DAO (BANK) coin has emerged as the biggest gainer in the last 24 hours, gaining over 6,000%.
Other cryptocurrencies such as Solana, Binance Coin and Terra gained, while XRP, Polkadot and Cardano were trading lower in the last 24 hours.
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New Delhi, India – Saurabh Shah, a 26-year-old chartered accountant in Mumbai, is not too worried about India’s latest plans to ban cryptocurrencies. He has seen similar proposals come and go before.
As a student, Shah invested in Bitcoin in 2017 right before India’s central bank barred financial institutions from executing crypto-related transactions.
“I invested in it following the buzz around it,” Shah told Al Jazeera, admitting he barely had any idea how cryptocurrencies worked at the time.
“When the Reserve Bank of India’s ban announcement was all over the media in April 2018, it scared me, but I could not withdraw my money. I am happy I never did as the Supreme Court lifted the ban later. I made fabulous gains on my initial investment.”
Even after the government announced a bill last month to prohibit cryptocurrencies, Shah does not believe an outright ban will ever happen.
“Even if it does, I have only invested the amount that I can afford losing,” Shah said.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) bill would prohibit all private cryptocurrencies and introduce a digital currency issued and regulated by the central bank, with “certain exceptions” allowing for private currencies to “promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses”. On Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the bill was being reworked to take into account the rapid changes in the industry, without offering details of the changes to the original draft.
Vidur Chhabra, a full-time crypto investor in Goa, said he doubted any ban would last as the genie was out of the bottle.
“The government and central bankers are at least 10 years behind. Even if they do ban it, they will have to revoke it the way the South Korean government is considering it now,” Chhabra said, referring to recent signs Seoul may ease its prohibition on raising money through virtual currencies.
“I am hopeful. In a world, where currencies are constantly getting debased, investment in crypto makes for an obvious hedge.”
The market would seem to share his rosy outlook. While Bitcoin and other currencies fell as much as 20 per cent last week after the announcement of the bill, prices stabilised within 24 hours.
“People like us who understand the crypto space have bought mostly, in the recent downfall,” CA Aishwary Gupta, a strategist at Polygon Technology, a scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain, told Al Jazeera. “The same people who sold suffered losses as the market recovered soon after.”
India is believed to have one of the biggest crypto markets in the world, with the technology industry body Nasscom estimating the country to be home to about 15 million crypto investors.
Driven by investors seeking returns at a time of low-interest rates, the rush to crypto has led to a mushrooming of start-ups and exchanges.
In newspapers and on TV, crypto advertisements promising wild returns are everywhere to be seen. Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bacchan, Salman Khan, Ayushmann Khurrana and Ranveer Singh have endorsed particular currencies. With mostly foreign venture capitalists investing huge amounts in different cryptos and pushing up prices before selling at the top, some retail investors have inevitably got burned.
Stories of big losses and the misuse of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and “terrorism” have spurred calls for greater oversight of the nascent industry. In November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned about the risk of cryptocurrencies ending up in the “wrong hands”. He cautioned that emerging technologies had the potential to be used as instruments of conflict and domination.
“I doubt there will be a permanent ban, but a temporary one is expected,” Sushil Kedia, the founder of financial markets research firm Kedianomics, told Al Jazeera. “Pulling the plug for a time period will reduce the activity in the crypto market while the government finetunes the regulations.”
Meanwhile, crypto exchanges have been clamouring to prove they can regulate themselves. “Many of the crypto exchanges do KYC [know your customer due diligence] of each investor on their platforms,” Avinash Shekhar, the co-CEO of crypto exchange app Zebpay, told Al Jazeera. “As an industry, we have also taken note of irresponsible advertising. The number of crypto ads has gone down significantly over the last two weeks.”
Gupta said that regardless of government oversight or the industry’s efforts at self-regulation, investors had to educate themselves about the market.
“I urge investors to learn before they invest,” he said. “They should understand the demand and supply dynamics, the use-cases and the credibility of people running crypto projects.”
Nonetheless, the industry is bracing for stricter regulations.
Some analysts believe that while the government is unlikely to accept the use of cryptos as private currencies, authorities may accept their use as financial assets.
“Cryptos should be classified as an asset class investment in India,” Ashish Singhal, the co-chair of the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), told Al Jazeera. “It is similarly regulated in many other countries, and almost all use-cases of crypto are an investment and not payment. Additionally, the Indian crypto industry needs a proper framework for the movement of funds, a rigorous KYC [Know Your Customer] procedure, and a proper reporting structure.”
In November, India’s securities regulators granted Invesco Mutual Fund approval to launch the InvescoCoinShares Global Blockchain ETF Fund of Fund. The ETF had been due to launch on November 22 before Invesco deferred it in view of the crypto bill. The fund would have been India’s first scheme offering exposure to global companies participating in the blockchain ecosystem. Meanwhile, India’s first cryptocurrency unicorn, CoinDCX, is planning to launch an initial public offering (IPO) once it receives regulatory approval.
Chhabra, the crypto investor, said crypto’s rise was unstoppable.
“Better technologies will keep becoming better – whether the government likes it or not,” he said. “I see cryptos as water. You may block it, but it will find its own way.”