When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March, it impacted millions of businesses across the world that needed to pivot with lightning speed.
After seeing this, Qamar Zaman, founder of Kiss PR Brand Story, turned his paid storytelling platform into a free public relations service by offering assistance all over the globe. Forbes India announced that Zaman had created a “blue ocean” by using his storytelling platform.
Zaman is well known for his work with some of the top attorneys and leaders in the U.S. legal industry. Recently, he interviewed Rene Perras, a lawyer-marketing expert who found his own purpose helping attorneys manage their costly litigation support services, such as e-discovery and managed document review. Armed with decades of knowledge from working with some of the nation’s leading trial lawyers, Perras understood the challenge and burden of being a plaintiff attorney and was able to utilize innovative and creative financing solutions to overcome the costly burden of these litigation services.
During the interview, Perras discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his niche in the legal industry. After hearing Perras’ take on the issue, Zaman was inspired to assemble a panel of leading experts from various disciplines in the legal industry who are authorities in their own right. Zaman then interviewed them about the COVID-19 crisis’s effects on their individual areas of specialization.
Below are five legal professionals, Perras included, who were interviewed by Zaman. In these interviews, they examine how the pandemic impacted — and continues to impact — their respective legal professions and expert advisories.
1. Joshua Horton, Florida civil justice attorney and director of public policy at Hanley Foundation
Attorney Joshua S. Horton stands at the forefront of substance use disorder solutions as Hanley Foundation’s director of public policy:
“The combination of COVID-19 and opioids are a deadly cocktail. Federal data states the pandemic shows increased suicide and overdose rates. Depression and isolation (is) exacerbated by the opioid epidemic, making vulnerable individuals predisposed to addiction and to being pushed over the edge. The health care industry is ill-equipped for this exponential growth of overdoses, which sometimes results in wrongful death in hospitals, treatment centers and sober homes. The civil justice system may be the only recourse for families dealing with this devastation.”
2. Trevor Goring, Canadian portrait painter and founder of The Trial Lawyer National Portrait Gallery
Trevor Goring has worked closely with the trial lawyer community in Europe and North America for almost 30 years:
“As a Canadian portrait painter painting in America, I created an international niche market, painting portraits of men and women, renowned criminal defense lawyers, consumer justice attorneys, alongside a wide-ranging collection of ‘Images of Justice,’ portraying famous trials, great jurists, icons and symbols of the law from earliest times. I founded The Trial Lawyer National Portrait Gallery, where all these images currently reside. The pandemic abruptly terminated monthly travels to attorney conventions throughout North America, forcing this commissioned portrait painter to network more creatively. COVID-19 pushed me to adapt and paint even more. From my studio via videoconferencing, I have morphed into a virtual portrait artist.”
3. Donald Slavik, professional engineer and national consumer justice attorney and advocate
Attorney Donald Slavik handles complex technology litigation:
“Advanced driver assistance systems, along with the implementation of artificial intelligence, has been at the forefront of many debates on occupant safety with new electric vehicles and driverless cars. The pandemic has not derailed the launch of EVs by car manufacturers, but some of the same parallels exist between developing a safe and reliable COVID-19 vaccine and safe EVs. Having investigated many tragic cases where the need to be first put profits before people reveals these tragedies could have been prevented if not for a poor and rushed vehicle design, avoiding a catastrophic injury or American losing their life.”
4. Rene Perras, data hosting and electronically stored information/e-discovery adviser
Rene Perras is an e-discovery and managed document review consultant for law firms:
“The preservation of evidence for discovery has always been contentious at best. With data growing exponentially, electronically stored information, or e-discovery, is the battlefield where litigation is being waged. COVID-19 has rewritten the rules of engagement by shutting down all new projects as civil courts struggle to get back some normalcy they had prior to the pandemic. Existing projects are waiting to spring into active mode, but the uncertainty of the litigation cycle continues to increase the technological and financial burden. We can assess, free of charge, your ongoing monthly data-hosting commitment, which can quickly whittle away your profit outlook.”
5. Brian Spira, litigation financing adviser
Brian Spira is a managing member of the Oxbridge Financial Group:
“For nearly 25 years, I have developed and managed litigation finance products and portfolios for plaintiffs, law firms and defendants. Recently, I have partnered with e-discovery/doc review companies to develop vendor finance programs. Today, vendors are aligning with attorneys and their clients, as well as corporations, by providing cash-deferred or ‘pay only if your case succeeds’ options. COVID-19 originally brought the court system to a standstill with dockets backed up, thereby elongating litigation life cycles considerably. In the last couple of months, this realization has rendered vendor finance alignment more critical, popular and timely than ever.”
Kiss PR Brand Story is an invitation-only, fee-based platform for professionals with a successful track record in the area of developing digital, legal and professional authority. Connect with Qamar Zaman, the company’s founder, on LinkedIn.