On March 4, 2021 Judge Grant provided additional guidance on the Judiciary’s plans for in person jury trials for the remainder of the year. Judge Grant’s memo notes that the judiciary has been closely monitoring the Covid numbers in an attempt to discern whether or not it is appropriate to start criminal and civil jury trials, in person, again. Notably, as of March 1st 2021, the statewide 14 day average showed a twelve percent decrease in deaths and a twenty-four percent decrease in hospitalizations. However, the new case count has increased by three percent. Despite the amount of new cases, Judge Grant’s memo notes that the figure is still less than one-half of the number of new cases reported at the start of 2021.
Encouraged by these numbers, Judge Grant explains that vicinage judges will continue to conference civil cases for trials with the understanding that virtual civil jury trials will proceed on April 5, 2021. Moreover, courts are directed to conference the significant number of active criminal cases with the expectation that those matters will be tried, once in-person jury trials resume.
Having legal representation that stays on top of the guidance issued by the judiciary is incredibly important. Additionally, having counsel who is ready, willing and able to try cases in either format gives your case its best chance. At our law office, we have successfully tried cases in both a digital and in-person format. During a consultation, it is my practice to provide guidance to the client as to whether or not their situation would best be handled in person or digitally.