Do You Practice Zoom Risk Management?

Hint: show up early.

Video conferencing is here to stay, which means you need to learn – and practice – a little Zoom risk management.

Such as choosing your physical location with care when participating in an important virtual meeting. Don’t make the mistake of this criminal defendant who wound up in jail after his girlfriend appeared briefly onscreen.

Also: don’t be the only one with your camera turned off. It impedes the flow of the meeting.

Here are some other risk management/netiquette pointers.

“Even if you are on mute, talking during a Zoom meeting is rude because it shows you are not listening,” said Juda Strawczynski, director of the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company in Canada, at a “Lawyer’s Guide to Zoom” event at the ABA Techshow 2021. “It’s also a bad idea to drive your car while using the platform. Play (on Zoom) before your first court appearance or client engagement. Call a friend and set up a Zoom time.”

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8 Netiquette Tips for Virtual Conferences

  1. Show up early. You might have trouble logging in, or it might take a few minutes for the host to admit you.
  2. Schedule your meeting for a bit longer than you think necessary. That way, you won’t run out of time, and you might even be able to wrap up early, which will make you a Zoom hero.
  3. Prepare in advance. Prep your clients for virtual court appearances and settlement conferences just as you would for a live session.
  4. Practice screen sharing. Don’t waste time fumbling around trying to share something onscreen. Only share essential documents; send others by email.
  5. Go easy on the powerpoint. Zoom fatigue + death by ppt = a real clunker of a meeting.
  6. Give everyone a chance to speak. Some talkers will gobble up all the screen time. Go around the room and ask if anyone else has something to contribute.
  7. Use the chat function. Conduct one-on-one and sidebar conversations without interrupting the meeting’s flow.
  8. Provide a communication back channel. Let participants know how to reach you if they can’t log on or lose the connection.

Sources: ABA Journal and ABA Journal

If you practice in Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana or Michigan, you can stay on top of ethics and risk management news by being a member of Alta Pro Lawyers RPG. You’ll get access to free webinars, the Pro Practice Playbook, Reminger ProLink, Ask the Risk Pro and more. Here’s how to join.

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