Daily Coronavirus Update: Court System Begins Summoning Grand Jurors

By Christian Nolan

June 29, 2020

Daily Coronavirus Update: Court System Begins Summoning Grand Jurors


By Christian Nolan

Good afternoon Members,

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced during her weekly update today that in areas outside of New York City, the court system has begun summoning grand jurors to report for service on July 13.

“This milestone development follows several weeks of careful planning and coordination with our justice partners, during which we have identified and retrofitted appropriate space and developed new protocols to ensure that grand jury proceedings will be safely conducted,” said DiFiore.

DiFiore also said she’s wasting no time in calling upon the expertise of their new Commission on the Future of New York’s Courts, led by NYSBA’s Immediate Past President Hank Greenberg, to fast-track a report with guidance and recommendations on how the state court system can safely restart jury trials.

“The right to a jury trial is one of the pillars of our justice system, and we have an obligation to be proactive and creative in order to restore this fundamental right as soon as it is safe to do so,” said DiFiore. “And I want to thank the Commission for turning their attention to this immediate challenge and concern.”

DiFiore also reported today that the court system has added 14 new virtual parts to their very busy New York City Family Court, which she said more than doubles their virtual capacity from 11 parts to 25, with most of those parts dedicated to hearing neglect and abuse, family offense and child support proceedings.

“These are urgent, time-sensitive matters that require immediate court intervention and critical services for children and families in crisis, and I want to thank Administrative Judge Jeanette Ruiz, and our Family Court judges and professional staff, for the dedication and ingenuity they have shown in meeting the justice needs of our families and children during this challenging time,” said DiFiore.

September Bar Exam

DiFiore confirmed that all candidates who successfully completed an application for New York’s September bar exam will be able to sit for it, provided that they follow up with timely proof of eligibility and that new public health concerns don’t preclude them from moving forward as planned.

“The task of securing appropriate and sufficient space to administer a two-day exam to upwards of 5,000 candidates, in multiple locations across the state, in the midst of a public health crisis, has been very challenging, to say the least,” said DiFiore. “And so, I want to thank and commend my Court of Appeals colleague, Michael Garcia, who led the working group that, together with the Board of Law Examiners, did an excellent job of making smart and responsible recommendations that balanced the complex logistics and public health concerns and put us in a good position, as of now, to safely administer the September bar exam. Truly a job well done.”

COVID-19 Webinars

Tuesday, June 30 – Immunities in the Face of the COVID-19 Human Rights and Public Health Crisis.

Tuesday, June 30 – Does Video Conferencing Work for You?

Tuesday, June 30 – Understanding Travel Insurance in Today’s World.

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 we have coverage of the report of the Task Force on Domestic Terrorism and Hate Crimes, which was approved by the association’s House of Delegates at its virtual meeting on Saturday, June 27.

“Concrete action is needed now more than ever given the recent hate-based rhetoric related to COVID-19 and the demand for systemic change to combat racial injustice,” said Carrie H. Cohen, a partner at Morrison & Foerster and former Assistant United State Attorney for the Southern District of New York who chaired the task force.



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