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Emergency Court Directives and Executive Orders You Should Know About (Week of April 6)

News has been replete with the many measures being taken by the state government and the court system in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Here are some from last week that we want to make sure you did not miss:

NYS Office of Court Administration ALERT: Limiting Court Filings, a memo to “all attorneys and parties in litigation before the New York State Courts,” provides further information regarding prior administrative orders that have curtailed court operations.

Message from Chief Judge DiFiore (March 30, 2020) containing important information regarding the expansion of virtual court operations for use in essential and emergency cases – the top priority – and the start of a planning process regarding the use of virtual operations in other cases as well.   

Order of Chief Judge Rosalynn R. Mauskopf (March 30, 2020) regarding criminal proceedings in the Eastern District of New York, authorizing judges, with the consent of the defendant or the juvenile after consultation with counsel, to use video conferencing, or telephone conferencing if video conferencing is not reasonably available for use, in a variety of proceedings, including detention hearings, arraignments and pleas, for 90 days.   

Announcement (Effective Monday, March 30) that operations in the Southern District of New York will be further curtailed in response to the COVID virus. The announcement lists the status of court operations for the period March 30-April 11, as they pertain to urgent criminal matters and civil matters requiring the immediate attention of a judge.

Announcement:  “Operations Continue at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit” (March 26, 2020) setting forth current COVID-19 protocol. 

Update on Rescheduling of July 2020 N.Y. State Bar Exam (March 31, 2020) “the Court of Appeals met and decided to seek to have the rescheduled July Bar Examination administered in early September, shortly before or after the September 7, 2020 Labor Day holiday. While every effort will be made to reschedule the Bar Examination in early September, the Court recognizes that logistical and other challenges may prevent administration at that time, which may in turn delay the ability of spring 2020 law graduates to engage in full legal employment. Therefore, the Chief Judge on behalf of the Court will also explore the expansion of authority for practice orders that allow law graduates who meet specified criteria to engage in certain law practice under supervision of licensed attorneys. The expansion contemplated would allow private sector attorneys and law firms, as well as government offices and legal aid organizations, to apply to the Appellate Division for practice orders, and to allow such orders to include law graduates who are awaiting the administration of the first bar examination following their graduation, as well as law graduates who are awaiting results of the Bar Examination and meet the required criteria.”