Two years ago this month, courthouses were emptied, courtrooms were desolate and calendar calls were delayed and delayed and delayed again. This week it seems that in person court appearance are making a resurgence.
“Effective March 21, 2022
All appearances in the Calendar Control Part
will require in-person appearances
by all counsel and litigants.”
It’s true, this announcement, made on March 1, 2022 by Hon. Paul J. Baisley, Jr., Presiding Justice of the Supreme Court, Civil Parts in Suffolk County, is the real deal.
What’s more, this week, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced the courts will be returning to “full-scale operations” by scheduling a full complement of jury trials and other in-person hearings and proceedings. This on the heels of the NYS Supreme Court’s decision to ease physical distancing for participants in criminal jury trials from 6 feet to 3 feet and the expanded reduction in physical distancing to 3 feet for all grand jury proceedings statewide.
The Chief Judge announced in her weekly update that planning for reducing distancing guidelines across the state are underway, which will allow for more jurors and more trials moving forward, reducing the 2 year old backlog of cases now before the court.
Despite these signs of normalcy, mask wearing, at least within the court system, remains a requirement to enter the courthouses across New York State.
Mask and distancing mandates haven’t stopped the Appellate Division Second Department from returning to in person oral arguments, which comes as a welcome change to attorneys who say that seeing the emotions expressed by Judges is very important to an oral argument.
The move to more in-person proceedings may not help the backlog in every county across the state. At a recent presentation, Queens Housing Court Supervising Judge John Lansden reminded attendees that the courts are experiencing personnel changes and shortages, which impacts how long it takes cases to reach resolution. The Judge asked practitioners to be patient with the courts through these transitions.
Mandates are being lifted throughout the State, not just in court. The New York State school mask mandate was lifted, effective today, on March 7, 2022, vaccine mandates for in person entertainment and dining will be lifted.
Bee Reporting continues to offer the highest quality, most reliable virtual deposition services available and, as we have for years, the best in-person deposition transcription services.
Whether your deposition and translation services are in person or virtual, Bee Reporting is here for you.
Throughout the month of March, 2022, Bee pledges to donate a portion of all orders to the International Rescue Committee supporting Ukrainian Humanitarian Aid. Make your own direct donation here.
March 11, 2022