COVID-19 and The Courts

Last Updated: 3/23/2020

 

Gerber Ciano Kelly Brady LLP (“GCKB”) has been continuously monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) through guidance from the CDC and WHO, government officials, and state and local public health departments. For the safety of our staff and our communities, GCKB has implemented a mandatory work from home policy, including a non-essential travel policy.  In deploying our business continuity plan, we have been actively monitoring potential vendor risks and working closely with our outside partners to understand their pandemic planning and response plans.

Our firm was designed from its inception to utilize innovative secure cloud-based technology tools and a paperless environment to allow us to work remotely without any impact on client services.  Our personnel are all working from home and we remain “open for business”.  While courts have limited appearances, all attorneys and staff are fully focused on advocating for our clients.

We will continue employing our integrated technology for videoconference meetings, depositions, mediations and other matters as appropriate and necessary. Our leadership is committed to communicating with our clients, the courts, and counsel with the goal of continuing to advance matters under the prevailing conditions.

Below are links to websites and documents providing the latest updates on how the courts are operating during this time within the primary jurisdictions we serve: NY, NJ, PA and CT.  As we handle matters across the United States and act as national coordinating counsel for many clients, please feel free to reach out to us for information related to other jurisdictions.

Up to Date Court Rulings, Procedures and Directives for New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut

 

New York

Essentially, the state courts in New York are closed. As of March 20th, the Governor has suspended and tolled any specific time limit for the commencement, filing of or service of any legal action from March 20th to April 19th, 2020. (See Executive Order No. 202.8, Mar. 20, 2020). Per Administrative Order on March 22, 2020, all filing is suspended unless it is a matter included in the essential list as directed under Exhibit A.

 

New York (Federal Courts)

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

 

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

 

U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York

 

U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

 

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Court will hear all oral arguments using a teleconference platform. As of March 16, 2020, “all filing dates and other deadlines set out in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Courts’ Local Rules and the Courts’ orders are extended or tolled by 21 days, effective today [March 16th] through May 17, 2020.”

 

Connecticut

All matters, except for Priority 1 matters, are suspended commencing Monday, March 16, 2020, and continuing through March 27, 2020. Trials are suspended for 30 days, unless already ongoing. On March 19, 2020, the Governor issued an executive order suspending “time requirements, statutes of limitation or other limitations to deadlines relating to service of process, court proceedings, or court filings”. Please see the below order for further details.

 

Connecticut (Federal Courts)

U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut

Civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled through April 10, 2020 are continued pending further Order of the Court. All in-court proceedings scheduled on or before April 20, 2020 continued. Each district or magistrate judge may choose to handle matters in court at their discretion. Electronic filings are still available.

     

    Pennsylvania

    Time calculations for the purposes of time computation for the filing of documents with the court or taking other judicially mandated action have been suspended beginning with March 13, 2020, ending with March 27, 2020.  Many counties within the state are also issuing their own orders. We recommend following the link below for the latest information.

     

    Pennsylvania (Federal Courts)

    U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

    Attorneys may now file initiating papers electronically, and hard copies are discouraged, currently effective through April 13, 2020.

     

    U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

    All civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin before April 27, 2020 are continued. Trial deadlines and scheduling orders remain in effect unless modified by Court Order. All grand jury sessions are suspended through April 3, 2020.

     

    U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania

    All hearings and proceedings requiring a physical appearance within sixty (60) days of March 13th are continued. Proceedings may be conducted by video or audio teleconference with Court approval. No new grand juries will be empaneled from March 13, 2020 to April 30, 2020.

     

    United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

    Within the Third Circuit, oral arguments are moving forward as scheduled, but parties may request to appear by audio-conference by filing a motion. Please see the below press release from March 19th for further information.

     

     New Jersey

    New Jersey’s action is comprehensive, with discovery being relaxed and extended for two weeks. We believe that this may be modified and extended.

     

    New Jersey (Federal Courts)

    U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey

    All civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin before April 30, 2020 are continued. Scheduling orders remain in effect unless modified by court order.