Courts Back to Full-Scale Operations; Masks Protocols Will Remain Temporarily

By Brandon Vogel

Courts Back to Full-Scale Operations; Masks Protocols Will Remain Temporarily

3.28.2022

By Brandon Vogel

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The move to 3-foot physical distancing for all judges, court staff and court users in trial courts has gone smoothly, according to Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.

There has been a noticeable increase in courthouse activity with more jurors, lawyers and litigants participating in jury trials and other in-person proceedings. It is starting to clear out the pandemic-related backlogs that have built up in many of the courts, DiFiore said.

As for removing facial coverings in public areas, “we need to be patient and disciplined for a while longer,” said Difiore. The COVID positivity rate in the courts has increased slightly in the last two weeks.

“Under the circumstances, it makes sense for us to stick with the tried-and-true public health protocols that have helped to keep everyone in our courthouses safe and healthy over the last two years,” said DiFiore.

The courts will make modifications after reviewing the COVID-related data and the recommendations issued by public health authorities.

J-COR
DiFiore announced that the Unified Court System has implemented a new program — “Judges for Career Opportunities for Refugees,” or “J-COR” — to provide career placement opportunities in the court system for Afghan refugees with legal experience.

Under “J-COR,” Afghan refugees will be placed in full-time, paid analyst positions for 12 months. To qualify, applicants must be proficient in English and possess the proper immigration papers to work.

Interested individuals are asked to submit a resume to [email protected]. Qualified applicants will be placed in positions that closely match their experience, interests, and preferred geographic location.

“This is a truly worthy endeavor, and the least that we can do here in New York to support the courageous women judges and lawyers who have risked their lives over the last 20 years to uphold the rule of law and enforce the human rights of women and girls living in Afghanistan,” said DiFiore.

New judges
The formal investiture of the three newest Court of Appeals Judges — Madeline Singas, Anthony Cannataro and Shirley Troutman — will take place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 5th, in the Courtroom of Court of Appeals Hall in Albany.

The ceremony will be live-streamed on the Court of Appeals’ website, and family, friends and colleagues are invited to tune into this historic event.

Access to justice

The annual “Access to Justice Technology Conference,” sponsored by the Permanent Commission on Access to Justice, is taking place on April 11 and 12.

This year’s conference, which is being presented virtually, is focusing on how to take advantage of the innovative, short-term technology solutions that were developed in response to the pandemic. The goal is to transform these temporary measures into permanent improvements that will ensure maximum court access for low-income New Yorkers.

Registration and agenda information can be found here.

Upcoming CLE Webinars

Tuesday, March 29  – Intro To Artificial Intelligence (AI) Part 1: AI As Evidence In Litigation

Tuesday, March 29 and Wednesday, March 30 – March 2022 Bridging The Gap

Wednesday, March 30  – Navigating Trauma: Tips For Attorneys And Their Clients

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