A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Resumption of In-Person New Jersey Trials

By on May 14, 2021 in Other with 0 Comments

On May 11, 2021, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an Order authorizing the resumption of in-person criminal jury trials and some in-person civil jury trials, effective on or after June 15, 2021.  Criminal jury trials will be conducted in person and be given the highest priority.  Most civil jury trials will continue to be conducted in a virtual format.

The in-person jury trials will still require social distancing and the wearing of facemasks except in limited circumstances when other health protections are in place.  Up to 50% of judges and state court employees will be present in state court locations as of June 15, 2021.

The Court issued this Order based upon improved COVID-19 trends.  Because not all people have been vaccinated, the resumption of certain in-person jury trials will remain at a limited capacity.

Jury selection will begin in a virtual format.  Jurors will be informed that their service may continue virtually or may involve reporting in person to the courthouse with safety precautions.

As for civil cases, those that are especially urgent, including those that involve a plaintiff whose doctor has determined a limited life expectancy, will be prioritized for in-person trials.  The Assignment Judges of each county may authorize additional in-person civil jury trials based on local resources, as long as those in-person civil jury trials do not reduce the Judiciary’s capacity to conduct other urgent court events, including in-person criminal trials involving detained defendants.

The bottom line is, that while in-person jury trials will be resuming in New Jersey, priority will be given to criminal trials first.  Based upon the more than one year back log, it is unlikely that many civil jury trials will proceed in person before the beginning of next year.  As for virtual trials, it is likely that the ones that will proceed will be those that are very simple, involving only one plaintiff and one defendant with no complex issues.

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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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