Brooklyn Bar Association News


Posted by: Jen Bryan & Robert Abruzzese on Mar 25, 2020

 

May 3, 2021 — Monday was Law Day and although the legal community is still not hosting in-person events, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore didn't pass up the opportunity to talk about the importance of the legal holiday.

"As I’m sure you know by now, today is Law Day, a special day set aside each year to celebrate the importance of the rule of law in our nation’s history," Chief Judge DiFiore said. "One of the core elements of the rule of law is the principle that every individual, no matter who they are, or where they come from in life, is entitled to equal justice under the law. And so, on this Law Day, I want to take a moment to make you aware of two upcoming programs that continue our conversation as a court family about equal justice, and about the issues of racism and bias that must be acknowledged, identified and eliminated."

  • "A Dialogue on Race and Cultural Sensitivity," a program focused on issues affecting Asian American and Pacific Islanders will be hosted on Wednesday, May 5 at 12:30 PM.
  • That event is sponsored by the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year as part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
  • "Pathways to Inclusion: Public Service and Leadership in the Court System" will be held on Thursday, March 13 by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. 

"I hope that you will be able to tune into one or both of these programs as we continue the dialogue and our ongoing efforts to understand, appreciate and fully embrace the beauty and rich diversity of our court family," Chief Judge DiFiore said. "So, please register to attend by checking your email or visiting the respective web sites of the Williams Commission and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion."

 

April 26, 2021 — All court employees and judges in New York State are returning to work in person by May 24, but that does not yet mean an immediate return to full in-person operations, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore explained during her address to the legal community on Monday.

"We are looking forward to and carefully planning for the physical return of all judges and court staff to their assigned courthouses on Monday, May 24th, in order to support the continued expansion of in‐ person operations, including jury trials and other essential proceedings," Chief Judge DiFiore said. "Our court leadership team and Administrative Judges are working on safe and responsible plans to implement normal staffing levels in all of our courthouses.  

"As you know, our courthouses have diverse layouts and operations and so our plans obviously are being tailored to address all of the different variables.  However, the goal will be the same everywhere: ensuring that our judges and staff are physically back in our courthouses so that we are operating at full capacity in order to support the fuller resumption of in‐court proceedings, including jury trials.  And consistent with this goal, I’m pleased to report that a total of 53 civil and criminal jury trials are scheduled to commence this week in our trial courts across the state."

The Chief Judge added, "I do want to make clear, again, that our return to full courthouse staffing levels does not mean a return to full in‐person operations, or to the crowded conditions that existed in many of our courthouses before COVID‐19.  We will continue to rely on virtual operations and remote appearances to hear the large majority of court matters, and we are taking additional steps to ensure safe and manageable occupancy levels in our buildings, including the staggering of calendar times for court appearances, and limiting the number of cases that can be scheduled at any one time."

  • The Chief Judge said that courts outside of New York City have already increased their staffing levels to approximately 60 to 80 percent, and NYC is expected to follow within the upcoming days and weeks.
  • In addition to strict cleaning and sanitizing protocols, all courts will have COVID screening and temperature checks at entrances, face masks and PPE are required, there are social distancing protocols in place, and acrylic barriers have been placed in courtrooms where appropriate.
  • The Chief Judge encouraged all judges and their staff to get vaccinated. 
  • Nearly 1,200 online bench trials and hearings were commenced last week. Judges and staff remotely conferenced nearly 24,000 matters, settled or disposed of 6,000 of those, and issued 2,400 written decisions.
  • The Chief Judge commended the "Virtual Evidence Courtroom Module" which was developed as a pilot program in September and is being used in matrimonial matters in five counties. It allows judges to manage the evidence in their virtual courtrooms and lets lawyers upload and share documents and evidence in real time during a trial or proceeding.
  • On April 5, that pilot program was expanded to all contested matrimonial matters filed through NYSCEF. More than 120 virtual trials and hearings have been set up through the new module in the first three weeks. 

"This is one more example of how the pandemic has impelled us to adopt innovative solutions that will be of lasting benefit to litigants and lawyers, during and beyond the pandemic," Chief Judge DiFiore said of the Virtual Evidence Courtroom Module. "And I want to thank Judge Jeffrey Sunshine, our Statewide Coordinating Judge for Matrimonial Cases, and Jeff Carucci, our NYSCEF Director, for their leadership in developing and piloting this model approach for conducting virtual bench trials in matrimonial matters, an approach that we are now taking to scale."

Click here to watch the Chief Judge's entire statement or to read a transcript of the video.

April 5, 2021 — There are 52 new jury trials schedule to begin across the State this week, and 960 virtual bench trials and hearings were held as judges and staff remotely conferenced almost 20,000 matters, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said during her weekly State of the Judiciary speech that she has given since the start of the COVID pandemic.

The big news is that the Commission to Reimagine the Future of New York's Courts issued two new reports last week by its "Trials Working Group" on how technology can improve litigation.

  • The first report recommended that the courts explore partnerships with major internet service providers to supply all courtrooms with wireless internet.
  • The court is also going to look into developing uniform rules governing the use of portable technology during trials and proceedings, implementing a "Virtual Bench Trial Protocols and Procedures" manual, and training judges and staff on emerging technology and legal issues posed by new forms of evidence.
  • The Court wants to develop a similar manual for remote jury trials and try them out as a pilot program on a voluntary basis.
  • The second report was focused on improving and streamlining the presentation of evidence and it relied ion the nationwide experience of courts and lawyers during the pandemic. It provides an overview of the legal authority governing different types of remote evidentiary proceedings, and offers an extensive “best practices” checklist for how to safely conduct remote, in-person and hybrid trials and evidentiary hearings during the pandemic.

Chief Judge DiFiore also took a moment to talk about Hon. Paul G. Feinman, the Association Judge of the New York Court of Appeals who died last week

"Our Court has lost a superb judge, and our entire court family has lost a cherished friend and colleague," Chief Judge DiFiore said. "Judge Feinman dedicated his entire professional life to public service, from his first job with the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County to his many years as a Law Clerk to Judge Angela Mazzarelli to his distinguished service at every level of our judiciary, starting in the New York City Civil Court and moving up through the Supreme Court, the Appellate Division and up to our state’s highest court in June 2017.

"At every step of his professional journey, Judge Feinman embodied excellence, integrity and devotion to public service. He cared deeply about our courts, the justice system and the legal profession, and he gave back generously through his leadership and service in so many capacities, including as Chair of the New York State Justice Task Force, working to eliminate wrongful convictions and strengthen the fairness of our criminal justice system; as Past President of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York; and as Past President of the International Association of LGBT Judges. Judge Feinman was a nationally recognized champion and role model for LGBT lawyers and judges, and a caring mentor to dozens of judges, lawyers and law students.

"We will miss Judge Feinman’s valuable contributions at the Court of Appeals. We will miss his wisdom, and we will miss the collegial way in which he approached his work and, of course, we will miss his friendship, personal warmth, good humor and sparkling intelligence. We mourn Judge Feinman’s passing, and send our deepest condolences to his husband, Robert Ostergaard, and his family and friends."

Click here to watch the Chief Judge's entire statement or to read a transcript of the video.

March 29, 2021 — Five cases were tried to verdict and three others are in progress in New York City during the first week since the resumption of jury trials, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said during her weekly address to the legal community on Monday.

"I want to thank our Administrative Judges, trial judges and professional staff for their leadership and hard work to make sure that our facilities were ready for the safe return of jurors, attorneys and witnesses," said Chief Judge DiFiore. "I also want to take a moment to publicly thank and recognize the nearly two thousand New Yorkers who reported for jury service last week, honoring their civic responsibility and sending the clear message that they are ready to see our courts functioning as normally as possible and are confident in our ability to prioritize and safeguard their health and safety. This is a very significant step forward for all New Yorkers, and we thank everyone who has participated and cooperated in this process."

Other notes

  • "Virtual" courts will continue even as in-person jury trials have begun. Last week there were 1,300 virtual bench trials and hearings, and New York judges conferenced almost 24,000 matters and issued over 2,400 written decisions.
  • The Court's Department of Public Safety has entered into a partnership with the NYPD's Community Affairs Bureau.
  • "Community Affairs Officers" will be stationed at information desks in courthouse lobbies to interface with members of the public and to provide basic help.
  • Court Officers will begin wearing nameplates on their uniforms while on duty.
  • Court Officers will undergo mandatory training to address issues of implicit bias, cultural awareness, and basic tenants of customer service.
  • After a 25-year career, Judge Paul Feinman retired from the Court of Appeals last week to attend to health concerns.

"Judge Feinman enjoyed a magnificent 25-year career on the bench as a brilliant trial and appellate judge and nationally recognized pioneer and champion for LGBTQ lawyers and judges," Chief Judge DiFiore said. "During his tenure, Judge Feinman made an indelible impact on the Court of Appeals and the law of our state. We wish him a full and speedy recovery, and we salute him on an extraordinary career devoted to public service."

Click here to watch the Chief Judge's entire statement or to read a transcript of the video.

March 22, 2021 — Criminal and Civil jury trials start on Monday, Chief Judge DiFiore announced in her Monday Message this week.

"As you know, we had to put jury trials on pause last November in response to the resurgence of COVID-19, but now with the improved COVID metrics, and the continuing distribution of the vaccine, we are able to safely begin the gradual expansion of in-person operations, including jury trials, in our courts," said Chief Judge DiFiore. "In New York City, we have 26 jury trials -- 19 civil and 7 criminal -- that are scheduled to begin in all five counties this week. And outside the City, we have scheduled a total of 27 trials -- 18 criminal and 9 civil -- that are set to begin today in all of our Judicial Districts across the 2 state, from Suffolk County in the east all the way to the Eighth Judicial District out west."

The Chief Judge went on to say, "I want to thank Deputy Chief Administrative Judges Vito Caruso and George Silver, and all of our Administrative Judges, and their professional staff, for laying the groundwork for the safe re-start of petit jury trials in the New York State courts. I also want to thank all of our justice partners and stakeholders, including the District Attorneys and Defense Bar, for their support and cooperation. The right to a trial by jury is one of the keystones of our justice system, and so we are pleased to see that all of the participants in the system are moving forward once more to resume jury trials across the 4 state, and we remain hopeful that this time there will be no pauses or postponements. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed."

Other notes:

  • Virtual courts heard 23,300 matters, and settled or disposed of 5,300 of those with 2,300 written decisions.
  • The pending docket of civil matters increased "only modestly" from the beginning of 2020 through January 2021.
  • Housing and Family Courts are facing large backlogs and the courts expect large increases in new filings when the moratorium on evictions is lifted.

Click here to watch the Chief Judge's entire statement or to read a transcript of the video.

March 9, 2021 — This week Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced that the court system will resume a limited number of civil and criminal jury trials on March 22nd.

"I am pleased to report that our plans to resume a limited number of civil and criminal jury trials on March 22nd are moving forward," said the Chief Judge. "Our Administrative Judges and court managers are preparing their courthouses for the safe return of jurors, and we are modestly increasing courthouse staffing levels to support necessary in-person administrative functions and increased foot traffic.

"The vast majority of court matters will continue to be handled virtually for the foreseeable future, but a limited number of in-person appearances may now be scheduled where doing so would serve important interests of access or court operations," Chief Judge DiFiore continued. "We believe that the incremental approach to expanding our in-person operations will enable us to responsibly provide more in-court services to lawyers and litigants while limiting and maintaining courthouse traffic at safe levels."

  • Last week judges and staff virtually conferenced and heard over 24,000 matters; settled or disposed of over 5,500 of those matters and issued 2,340 written decisions. 
  • A one-week high of 1,284 virtual bench trials, evidentiary, and fact-finding hearings were commenced last week.
  • A total of 287 court interpreters have worked in NYS throughout the pandemic and have provided remote services in more than 21,000 proceedings over the last year.
  • The court announced a "Limited English Proficiency Dashboard" that allows the system to maintain more accurate data on court users who require language access services.
  • Since March 2020, more than 3,400 New Yorkers have gone through treatment court programs for drug, and mental health.

Click here to watch the Chief Judge's entire statement or to read a transcript of the video.

March 1, 2021 — Chief Judge Janet DiFiore says court is moving forward with in-person operations beginning March 22.

"Over the last week, the seven-day rolling average for COVID positivity in New York State has continued to decline and is now at the lowest level since the holiday season," said Chief Judge DiFiore on Monday. "We will move forward responsibly and deliberately, carefully monitoring the COVID metrics and the public health guidance as we get closer to the 22nd. In the meantime, we are revisiting all of our safety measures and protocols in preparation for the safe return of jurors to our courthouses and consulting with our stakeholders and justice partners."

  • The court system plans to take a flexible approach and open courts based on the conditions of each region in the State.
  • Last week judges and their staff heard nearly 26,000 matters, which the Chief Judge said is a record high.
  • A total of 1,045 virtual bench trials and evidentiary and fact-finding hearings were commenced last week in NYS.
  • The "NYBench Program" launches March 2nd — it's a web-based program that connects judges with the NYC Criminal Court's Universal Case Management System in a way that gives instantaneous electronic access to documents and files.
  • On Wednesday, the court system will gather to discuss the Equal Justice implementation plan to make the court system more inclusive.

 

Feb. 8, 2021 — Chief Judge Janet DiFiore gave her weekly report on the state of the court system during the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday. Here are the highlights:

  • During the week of Feb. 1st, the courts heard 22,133 matters, settled or disposed of 5,752 of those matters, and issued more than 1,600 written decisions.
  • A total of 956 virtual bench trials and evidentiary and fact-finding hearings were commenced in NYS last week.
  • Snowstorms across the state did not interrupt court proceedings.
  • Unindicted Felony Parts in NYC completed their fourth week of operations, 756 cases were remotely conference which resulted in 165 additional dispositions. The judges have heard more than 3,200 cases.
  • The Commission on the Future of the NY Courts issued a report that recommended legislation to give the Chief Administrative Judge the authority to expand e-filing to all courts.
  • E-filing currently cannot be implemented in lower criminal courts, matrimonial actions, and most of the lower civil courts in the state.
  • Starting immediately, the court system will require full disciplinary hearings in all matters where the Inspector General has investigated and substantiated a claim of discriminatory conduct by one of its employees.
  • If a Hearing Officer sustains a charge of discriminatory conduct, the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge will consult with a "Special Panel" that will advise on the appropriate penalty to be imposed.
  • The Court has also issued a new "Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment" policy that is applicable to all non-judicial and judicial personnel.
  • The policy can be found on the court's website under "Latest News" or you can click here.

"We have a lot going for us, not the least of which is our commitment and determination to do the hard work, however long it may take, of creating a strong institutional culture of zero tolerance for bias and discrimination, a culture that treats every person with equal justice, dignity and respect," said Chief Judge Janet DiFiore during her address. "There can be no higher priority for us, and we will lead by example."

Click here to watch the Chief Judge's entire statement or to read a transcript of the video.

February 1, 2021 — Chief Judge Janet DiFiore gave a report on the virtual courts and also unveiled some new rules affecting case management and pretrial practice in New York Civil Courts, during her weekly state-of-the-judiciary address on Monday that she started giving when the pandemic began.

The new rules are modeled after similar rules that were implemented in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court and are aimed at streamlining discovery and reducing litigation costs, Chief Judge DiFiore said.

"In an effort to take advantage of these innovations as part of our Excellence Initiative, I tasked our statewide Advisory Committee on Civil Practice with evaluating and recommending those Commercial Division reforms deemed most suitable for adoption into general civil practice," said Chief Judge DiFiore.

"After nearly three years of intensive study, public comment and additional review and analysis by two working groups of leading judges and practitioners, the Administrative Board of the Courts has approved a broad set of amendments to the Uniform Civil Rules for the Supreme Court and the County Court, which are designed to make case management and pretrial litigation more efficient and cost-effective for lawyers and litigants in our civil courts," Chief Judge DiFiore continued. "A number of the changes also serve the goal of limiting unnecessary personal appearances and foot traffic in our courthouses."

Highlights include:

  • Presumptive limits on the number and duration of depositions.
  • Presumptive limits on interrogatories.
  • Requiring counsel to consult in good faith to resolve and narrow issues prior to a preliminary or compliance conference with the court.
  • Procedures for resolving discovery disputes and adhering to discovery schedules.
  • Staggered appearances for oral argument of motions to reduce courtroom congestion.

Click here to read the new rules in their entirety

Click here to watch the Chief Judge's entire statement or to read a transcript of the video.

January 25, 2021 — Chief Judge DiFiore reports on productivity among judges and staff

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, of the New York State Court of Appeals, reported during her weekly “Monday Message” that the court system has become more productive recently as judges and court staff continue to grow more proficient in delivering remote judicial services to attorneys and litigants virtually.

“…The productivity in our virtual courts for the holiday-shortened week of January 18th, our judges and staff conferenced and heard 19,633 matters; settled or disposed of 5,070 of those matters; and issued over 1,530 written decisions on motions and other undecided matters,” said Chief Judge DiFiore. “In addition, 673 virtual bench trials and evidentiary and factfinding hearings were commenced last week.

“The increasing number of virtual bench trials and evidentiary proceedings being conducted around the state each week reflects the growing proficiency of our judges and court staff in delivering remote justice services to lawyers and their clients, as well as the unrepresented, in our new virtual court model,” Chief Judge DiFiore continued.

During the weekly address, the Chief Judge also discussed the work of Nassau County Administrative Judge Norman St. George, who is working to cordinate a set of “best practices” to guide the bench and the bar in conducting virtual trials, and lauded the great work of the “Test Support Team” that the Office of Court Administration created to facilitate the transition to virtual courts.

Click here to read her statement in its entirety or to read a transcript of the video.

January 11, 2021 — Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement on Monday where she explained how the Office of Court Administration is working with Gov. Cuomo’s Office to get priority status to ensure that judges, their professional staff, and court officers receive priority for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Until then, I am absolutely certain that our judges and professional staff are up to the challenge, and my confidence is underscored by the growing productivity of our virtual court model,” said Chief Judge DiFiore. “During the first week of the new year, our judges and staff conferenced and heard 22,673 matters, settled or disposed of 6,078 cases and issued over 1,700 written decisions on motions and other undecided matters. In addition, 756 virtual bench trials and evidentiary and factfinding hearings were commenced last week.

“All in all, a highly productive and encouraging first week of virtual operations in 2021, reflecting the determination of our judges and staff to do their level best to move their dockets forward and promptly and fairly adjudicate cases in these extraordinary times,” Chief Judge DiFiore continued.

Click here to read her statement in its entirety or to read a transcript of the video.

January 4, 2021 — Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

December 28, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

December 21, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

December 14, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

December 11, 2020 – Governor Cuomo signed executive order 202.79 detailing the continuation of the temporary suspension/modification of laws relating to disaster emergency. You can read the full document in this link.

December 7, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

November 30, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

November 23, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

November 16, 2020 – Commission to Reimagine New York’s Courts issues initial recommendations. Click here for the report. Click here for the memorandum from Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks.

November 16, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

November 13, 2020Memorandum from Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks regarding revised pandemic procedures in Trial Courts.

November 9, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

November 2, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

October 30, 2020 – Notice for Kings County Surrogate’s Court from the desk of Surrogate Margarita López Torres.  Click here for the full notice.

October 26, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

October 19, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

October 13, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

October 5, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

September 29, 2020 – Court System Rolls Out New Online Tools to Facilitate Expanded Use of Mediation. Click here to read press release.

September 21, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video. In this edition the Chief Judge discusses Civil Trials and the use of Skype for all filings.

September 14, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

September 8, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

August 31, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

August 24, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

August 10, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

August 6, 2020 – Governor Cuomo signed executive order 202.55 detailing the continuation of the temporary suspension/modification of laws relating to disaster emergency. You can read the full document in this link.

August 3, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

July 29, 2020 – Updated Discovery Parts’ Instructions: Click here to view all documents.

July 27, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

July 20, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

July 7, 2020Memorandum from Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks – Grand Juries to Resume in NYC; NYC Courts to Expand In-Person Criminal Proceedings.

July 6, 2020 – Governor Cuomo signed executive order 202.48 detailing the continuation of the temporary suspension/modification of laws relating to disaster emergency. You can read the full document in this link.

June 29, 2020Revised Guidelines Aim to Facilitate Swifter Provision of Appropriate Accommodations for Court Users with Special Needs

June 29, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

June 23, 2020Courts in New York City to Begin Second Phase of Gradual Return to In-Person Operations

June 23, 2020 – Update – Surrogate’s Court E-filing Protocol 

June 22, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

June 18, 2020The Jewish Bar Alliance will be hosting a Town Hall regarding the status of the Trial and Appellate Courts in the 1st and 2nd Deparments in the wake of COVID-19 on June 25th at 5:30 PM.

June 15, 2020Revised Administrative Order from Hon. Lawrence Knipel regarding an extension on all Notes of Issue

June 12, 2020Administrative Order from Hon. Lawrence Knipel regarding an extension on all Notes of Issue

June 10, 2020Surrogate’s Court E-Filing Protocol

June 7, 2020Statute of Limitations extended to July 6, 2020 – Gov. Andrew Cuomo Executive Order

June 1, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

May 27, 2020Suggested Protocols for Matrimonial Actions -Planning for In Court Operations May 27, 2020

May 26, 2020Important Information about Small Business Economic Recovery and COVID-19 Loans and Assistance

May 26, 2020Updated protocols from Queens Surrogate Peter J. Kelly

May 26, 2020Press Release – Courts in Mid-Hudson Region and Long Island Begin Return to In-Person Courthouse Operations

May 25, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

May 20, 2020Memorandum from Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks regarding filing of new non-essential matters through the New York State Electronic Court Filing System (NYSCEF).

May 20, 2020 – Press Release – Courts in 13 Counties in Western New York and the Capital Region begin to return to In-Person Courthouse Operations

May 19, 2020 – NYC Housing Court Judges to Conduct Virtual Conferences in Pending Eviction Matters – Click here to read more.

May 18, 2020Update from Statewide Coordinating Judge of Matrimonial, Hon. Jeffrey Sunshine regarding E-Filing Links and Resources

May 18, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

May 12, 2020Kings County Surrogate’s Court – Remote/Virtual Operations Update

May 12, 2020New York City Criminal Court Protocols for Virtual/Remote Preliminary Hearings for CPL 180.80

May 11, 2020 – The New York State Court of Appeals has issued a notice to the bar about digital filings through a companion upload portal similar to the state court’s Court-PASS system.

May 11, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view or read a transcript of the video.

May 8, 2020Message from Hon. Ellen Biben and Directory – New York County Supreme

May 6, 2020Administrative Order of the Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department

May 4, 2020Public Notice: EDDS: UCS Program for Electronic Delivery of Documents

April 30, 2020 – Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks has issued a memorandum which details next steps including expanded motion practice through e-filing.

April 27, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view. For a transcript of the video and more information, please visit nycourts.gov.

April 24, 2020 – Brooklyn Supreme Court to begin using electronic monitoring instead of bail – Click here to read more.

April 21, 2020The Court of Appeals issued an order today implementing temporary changes to requirements for law students, law schools, and recent graduates including waivers of several bar admission requirements for spring 2020 graduates, including pro bono work.

April 21, 2020 – Chief Judge Janet DiFiore issued a video statement regarding the status of the courts. Click here to view. For a transcript of the video and more information, please visit nycourts.gov.

April 16, 2020Updated protocols for the Kings County Surrogate’s Court that are consistent with the Administrative Order of Chief Administrative Judge Marks, dated April 8, 2020.

April 8, 2020 – Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks has issued an order finalizing plans for the state court system’s “virtual courts” to begin handling some non-essential matters starting Monday, April 13.

April 8, 2020 – 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.

April 7, 2020 – Governor Cuomo signed executive order 202.14 detailing the continuation of the temporary suspension/modification of laws relating to disaster emergency. You can read the full document in this link.

April 7, 2020 – On Monday, April 13, 2020, New York State courts will resume handling more than essential and emergency matters through virtual courts. Please review the full memo from Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks in this link.

April 6, 2020 – Virtual Courts Statewide Up and Running – Notice from Hon. Lawrence K. Marks

March 27, 2020 – Kings County Surrogate’s Court – NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE ADJOURNMENT  – As a result of the Office of Court Administration’s procedures to combat the spread of the coronavirus and protect the health and safety of our workforce and our court community, The Kings County Surrogate’s Court has administratively adjourned without date all matters that were returnable before Surrogate Margarita López Torres on April 7, 14, 21, 28, 2020 and all matters that were returnable before Surrogate Harriet L. Thompson on April 9, 16, 20, 23, 30 2020. (Surrogate’s Court of Kings County, 2 Johnson Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201, phone number (347)404-9700).

Every Thursday – Lawyer to Lawyer Roundtable: Peer Support When You Need It Most – Join other lawyers, law students and judges from across the state in a free and confidential support group being held weekly on Thursdays at 4:00 pm via Zoom, https://nysba.zoom.us/j/550259037  The group will be facilitated by Libby Coreno, Chair of the Attorney Wellbeing Committee and Kerry O’hara, PsyD. Each group session will be loosely organized under a theme for discussion. All participants will be given the opportunity to share if they wish, with supportive discussion to follow. The L2L Roundtable is supported by the Attorney Wellbeing Committee and by the Lawyer Assistance Program.

March 30, 2020NYC Surrogate Courts Essential Applications– 
In light of recent developments in the coronavirus public health emergency in New York State, ESSENTIAL APPLICATIONS ONLY will be considered by the Court. Please call the phone number or e-mail below before coming to Court:
Bronx County – 718-618-1894; emadera@nycourts.gov
Kings County – 347-404-9720; daquinn@nycourts.gov
New York County – 917-509-7218; dsanabri@nycourts.gov
Queens County – 718-298-0777; jlbecker@nycourts.gov
Richmond County – 718-675-8504; rcerrach@nycourts.gov

March 26, 2020 – Update and Current Plans for Virtual Courts throughout the State as distributed by the 10th Judicial District – click here

March 25, 2020 – update from Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks regarding virtual court operations in NYC – click here

March 25, 2020 – Message from NYC Law Department – Fay Leoussis – Chief, Tort Division – click here

March 17, 2020 – Update from Elder Law Committee Chair, Daniel Miller –
Emergency Applications Only will be accepted for the Guardianship part. Documents that are electronically signed WILL be accepted by the clerk for the time being. The emergency application must be accompanied by an Affirmation/Affidavit of Emergency in addition to the OSC, Petition and NOP.

March 16, 2020 – Kings County Civil Term Administrative Directive – click here