A few years back there was a movie released named “Up in the air” starring George Clooney (A movie worth watching with a surprise ending!). The storyline was that it was Clooney’s job to fly around the country and fire long-term executives and workers. He did that face-to-face. The company he worked for ultimately decided that it was less expensive to perform that task via computer. The personal touch was gone. The movie highlighted the pitfalls of automation over face-to-face contact. So where am I going with this?  The COVID pandemic has created some changes that have substituted in person meetings and hearings to computer (Zoom) events. With the pandemic largely winding down, one would think that we would be returning to all in person court hearings, motions and status checks. For better or for worse, that does not appear to be the case. Although trials will always have to be in person before a live jury, much of what was once scheduled hearings for the lawyer and his or her client to attend, judges have been leaning favorably toward continuing the use of Zoom hearings. Like the movie, automation in the name of progress may save time but the trade-off may not be worth it. There just is no substitute for looking someone in the eye when they are trying to make a point or be persuasive.