NY Bar Exam Slated for Sept. 9-10, Virtual Courts to Expand Beyond Essential Business

By Christian Nolan

April 7, 2020

NY Bar Exam Slated for Sept. 9-10, Virtual Courts to Expand Beyond Essential Business


By Christian Nolan

Good evening Members,

The New York bar examination has been rescheduled for Sept. 9-10, 2020.

According to the New York State Board of Law Examiners, the application period for the rescheduled exam is slated to open on May 5 at 12 a.m. and close on May 30 at 11:59 p.m.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners also announced that it would make bar exam materials available for two fall administrations – Sept. 9-10 and Sept. 30-October 1. It said each jurisdiction will determine whether to offer the exam in July, in early September, or in late September.

Last week, just one day after NYSBA’s Task Force on the New York Bar Examination recommended that the postponed July 28-29 bar exam be rescheduled for a date close to Labor Day and prior to the Jewish holidays in late September, the Court of Appeals met and decided it agreed.

The Court of Appeals also said it will 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, and is also waiving its limitations on distance learning for the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 terms. NYSBA’s task force suggested both measures in its report issued last week.

Courts Look Beyond Essential Business
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore says the state court system is planning to expand its virtual court operation beyond essential and emergency matters, with an announcement of formal plans coming later this week. The plan would go into practice for the start of next week.

She said judges will be asked to schedule and conduct compliance and settlement conferences in pending matters by video or telephone with the goal of resolving outstanding issues, moving cases closer to final resolution and, wherever possible and appropriate, facilitating settlements.

“Even though we cannot conduct trials or complete other aspects of our business right now, this is our opportunity to cut into the motion backlog, which is quite large in some jurisdictions,” said DiFiore. “By resolving our motion backlog now, we will put ourselves in a better position to resume normal operations at full speed.”

She also said that the court system is working on similar plans for the appellate courts.

Statewide Virtual Courts
Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks reported today that virtual court operations that are allowing essential and emergency court proceedings to be conducted remotely are now in effect statewide.

The virtual court model was first introduced in New York City’s Criminal and Family Courts on March 25 and 26 respectively and has been rapidly expanded throughout all 62 counties in the state ever since.

A very small number of court clerks and court officers continue to staff the courts to process critical paperwork and provide essential security.

The court system also announced today that the Greene County Courthouse located at 320 Main Street, Catskill, NY will be closed until further notice to comply with enhanced cleaning protocols. The Greene County Consolidated Courts remain open for essential virtual court proceedings and can be reached at (518) 625-3180.

April-May Court of Appeals Session Cancelled
The Court of Appeals announced today that it will not hear oral arguments during its scheduled April and May session due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The clerk’s office will be in contact with counsel to provide information about further consideration of their appeals.

The court will continue considering pending cases and issue opinions, as well as continue accepting submissions by mail, according to John P. Asiello, the court’s chief clerk and legal counsel.

Filings including applications for stays will not be accepted in person at the clerk’s office until further notice. Persons wishing to file papers in person should call the clerk’s office at 518-455-7700 for instructions on alternate ways to file.

April Bar Journal
The April issue of NYSBA’s Bar Journal has been released digitally and features content about how COVID-19 has upended the legal profession and initiatives NYSBA has launched in the wake of the crisis to address its impacts.

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 expert commentary from four attorneys at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan about novel force majeure challenges due to coronavirus. Also, Jonathan Lippman, former chief judge of New York, joins David Miranda for the latest Miranda Warnings podcast to talk about the partnership between NYSBA and the state court system to build a pro bono network of lawyers in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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