Coronavirus Daily Update: Appellate Division Addressing Stalled Admissions

By Christian Nolan

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Good evening Members,

The presiding justices of the Appellate Division, who are responsible for overseeing the admission of attorneys to the practice of law in New York, have issued a statement about getting law school graduates who have already passed the bar exam admitted despite the courts being closed except for essential business.

“We wish to assure all law graduates awaiting admission that we are committed to resuming the normal admissions process as soon as is possible, bearing in mind our obligation to provide a safe workspace for our employees as well as our obligation to protect and promote public health and safety,” said the statement from Justices Rolando T. Acosta, Alan D. Scheinkman, Elizabeth A. Garry and Gerald J. Whalen.

“We are presently working on methods by which our admissions employees could do much of their work from their homes,” the statement continued. “We are also exploring innovative methods by which the admissions process may be expedited through the use of technology. We hope to be able to implement these new approaches in the coming weeks.”

Retired SDNY Judge Dies from COVID-19
Retired Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy, who spent 44 years on the bench as a U.S. District judge in the Southern District of New York, died April 1 from coronavirus.

Duffy was nominated by President Richard Nixon in 1972 to the federal bench, making him the youngest member of the federal judiciary.

He presided over several famous organized crime and terrorism cases including the 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center.

After retiring from the bench, Duffy practiced at his son’s firm of Duffy & Staub.

“He’s had some of the most important trials there are,” U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel, a former clerk of Judge Duffy, told the New York Law Journal. “Yet despite all of this, in 44 years of service to the court, many of us know that at the heart of his greatness were small acts of care and concern for others, particularly at times when they were experiencing a bad period in their life. … John Sprizzo, who was a judge of this court, once said to me that with friends like Kevin Duffy, you don’t need many friends.”

Three More Judicial Districts Go Virtual
The Fourth, Eighth and Ninth Judicial Districts plan to adopt the continuing virtual court operation in the coming days.

For the Fourth Judicial District, virtual court operations will commence Monday, April 6 via videoconferencing for all courts within Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington Counties for essential proceedings.

For the Eighth Judicial District, essential proceedings will be conducted remotely via Skype for Business starting in Erie County tomorrow and expanding to the district’s other counties – Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming – on Monday, April 6.

In the Ninth Judicial District, virtual court operations will commence Monday, April 6 via Skype for Business videoconferencing for all courts within Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties for essential proceedings.

Latest NYSBA.ORG Coronavirus News
We are adding new content each day to our website related to the coronavirus public health emergency and its impact on the legal community.

Today, meet the lawyers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis and three complex commercial litigators provide a guide to dealing with your landlord during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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