By now you’ve likely read the following email:
Submit your suggestions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline: Sunday, March 22 at Noon.
Keep in Mind
We know what slows the spread of COVID-19. Flattening the curve by social distancing and cancelling or postponing activities. Court operations require many people to be present – cleaning staff to wipe surfaces, security, judicial staff, lawyers, parties, and for some cases jurors and jury pools.
If we persist as if nothing has changed, we aren’t social distancing and COVID-19 will spread.
The Role of Technology
Can technology come to the rescue? Maybe. Hearings by phone come to mind. It may also be possible to resolve some matters by video conferencing.
But are the matters eligible for disposition by phone and video the most important judicial need? Perhaps. Perhaps not. We need time. Time to assess and time to make arrangements. Slowing things down gives us that.
The Snowball Effect
Believe me, I get it. Postponing matters set for March or April affects everything down the docket. Please be patient. We have one of the best court systems in the country. Look at your calendar. What can you juggle or free up? Talk to clients. The measures laid out in the Chief Justice’s Order are meant to save lives and spare illness. With a spirit of cooperation we can work this out with judges, judicial staff, and opposing counsel.
Day-to-day life has changed. Courts must also change. So must our practices. Acting fast and acting now will shorten the impact of COVID-19 and will benefit us all in the long run.
All Rights Reserved 2020 Beverly Michaelis