A Capehart Scatchard Blog

New Jersey Suspends All Jury Trials in Response to Coronavirus

By on March 13, 2020 in Other with 0 Comments

While I typically report on recent cases, I wanted to inform all clients that, as of March 12, 2020, Chief Justice Rabner announced that New Jersey state courts will suspend all new jury trials until further notice to help minimize community exposure to the coronavirus. Jury trials already in progress will continue.

As for nonjury trials, motions, and certain hearings, the courts are working on conducting all such proceedings remotely with only the judges and staff present.

Court vicinages are also taking steps to stagger schedules for landlord/tenant, small claims, and other non-jury court to avoid bringing together large numbers of people in confined areas.

The notice did not address arbitration hearings. Thus, it is not clear how those hearings will be handled. Bearing in mind that the threat of a trial often drives settlements, this stay of jury trials could impact the resolution of cases. Wearing my defense hat for the moment (and at the risk of sounding insensitive to this looming crisis – which is hard to determine if it is hype or real), potentially, it could be used to help negotiate settlements with plaintiff’s counsel who will now know that their case may not be tried any time soon. Whenever this stay is lifted, there will be a backlog of cases to be tried.

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About the Author

About the Author:

Ms. Ramos is an Executive Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Litigation Department at Capehart Scatchard, P.A. located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. She is an experienced litigator with over 25 years experience handling diverse matters. Practice areas include tort defense, business litigation, estate litigation, tort claims and civil rights defense, construction litigation, insurance coverage, employment litigation, shareholder disputes, and general litigation.

For the years 2020 and 2021, Ms. Ramos was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice area of Litigation - Insurance. The attorneys on this list are selected based upon the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. A complete description of The Best Lawyers in America© methodology can be viewed via their website at: https://www.bestlawyers.com/methodology.

In 2021, Capehart Scatchard and Ms. Ramos received the “Best Law Firm” ranking in the area of Litigation – Insurance (Metro, Tier 3) published by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®. Law firms included on the list are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have at least one attorney who has been included in the current edition of Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top five percent of practicing lawyers in the United States. Betsy Ramos (Litigation – Insurance) was recognized for this prestigious award in the 2021 edition. For a description of the “Best Law Firm” selection methodology please visit: https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.

“Best Law Firms” is published by Best Lawyers in partnership with U.S. News & World Report. For a description of the selection methodology please visit: https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.

*No aspect of this advertisement has been submitted to or approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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