Yesterday’s emergency is not today’s. Take a deep breath, and then think hard about whether your client’s issues truly—like, for real—require immediate judicial attention in today’s circumstances.

Judges are asking those questions, and here’s how some have described the current litigation environment:

“The entire world is in the midst of a pandemic. Thousands of people worldwide have contracted the Corona virus and there have been hundreds of virus-caused deaths in the United States. Millions of Americans have been ordered to remain in their homes. Millions more have lost their jobs in the past two weeks. The stock market has taken a brutal beating in the last two to three weeks. Many people are scared. Others are panicked. Everyone is unsure about the future. Cruises have been canceled and all the major airlines have severely curtailed their flights.”[1]

“The President has declared a national emergency. []Governors ha[ve] issued [] state-wide health emergenc[ies]. As things stand, the government has forced all restaurants and bars []to shut their doors, and the schools are closed, too. The government has encouraged everyone to stay home, to keep infections to a minimum and help contain the fast-developing public health emergency.”[2]

“We are living in an unprecedented situation.”[3]

With unreasonable opposing counsel harassing you, clients wanting to reduce their litigation exposure and spend in these uncertain times, and omnipresent pressures to develop and maintain business, what are you to do?

Take another deep breath.

“Brush up on the concepts of karma, goodwill, grace, compassion, equity, charity, flexibility, respect, spirituality, selflessness, kindness, public spirit, social conscience, and empathy.”[4]

“Be kind to one another in this most stressful of times. Remember to maintain your perspective about legal disputes, given the larger life challenges now besetting our communities and world.”[5]

And remember, too, that “[a]bout half of the practice of a decent lawyer is telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should stop.”[6]

Take a final deep breath.

“Good luck to one and all.”[7]

[1] S.D. Fla. 1:19-cv-24441-CMA (Dkt. #38) (order regarding deposition scheduling dispute) (the “Deposition Dispute Order”).

[2] N.D. Ill. 1:20-cv-1666 (Dkt. #27) (order regarding request for hearing on TRO involving counterfeit puzzles, purses, and phone cases adorned with elves and unicorns) (the “Unicorn Order”).

[3] Deposition Dispute Order.

[4] S.D.Fla. 1:18-cv-25429-JG (Dkt. #48) (order regarding dispute over trial extension).

[5] N.S. Ga. 1:17-cv-02965-AT (Dkt. #254) (order regarding “guidance to all counsel handling cases on [this court’s] docket”) (the “Be Kind Order”).

[6] Unicorn Order, quoting Hill v. Norfolk and Western Railway Co., 814 F.2d 1192, 1202 (7th Cir. 1987), which was quoting 1 Jessup, Elihu Root 133 (1938).

[7] Be Kind Order.