Marshall McCluhan coined the term “the medium is the message“.
This means in plain terms, without introducing a PHD thesis on the issue, that chosen method of communication to broadcast a message has a significant impact on how the message is received and understood. It’s almost to say that the way that the message is communicated (print, tweet, TV broadcast, radio), is just as important as the content of the message itself.
This notion that “the medium is the message” is very important when considering the impact which COVID-19 has played on our Courts and how personal injury claims are being litigated today.
This first struck me in the early days of COVID, after my first virtual discovery and my first virtual mediation. I had not done a virtual discovery, or a virtual mediation prior to COVID. Virtual proceedings were the exception and not the rule. It was expected that lawyers and their clients would meet in person for these earmark events in a personal injury case. Sometimes, an insurance adjuster would not be able to attend in person. They would be available over the phone. This was frowned upon because everyone was expected to be there; particularly for a mediation. But sometimes unfortunate life events would happen which prevented an in person attendance. We would proceed nonetheless and hope for the best.