Dear members of the public and potential clients and friends:
There is an old saying in the law, " justice delayed is justice denied " . I write this blog with the hope that changes are continuing to effectuate justice and progress in our Civil Supreme Courts , where many personal injury cases of my clients are still pending and are moving at a slow pace . Since COVID in March of 2020, new protocols including remote depositions , virtual orders and mask wearing in Courts with temperature checks have been welcomed changes .Chief Judge Janet DiFori on February 1, 2021 announced new Uniform Civil Rules to make case management and pretrial litigation more efficient and cost productive for litigants in the civil courts. Highlights of the amendments include requiring counsel to consult in good faith to resolve narrow issues before a preliminary or compliance conference to relieve discovery disputes and resolve discovery schedules. The reality I have experienced , depending on the County where the personal injury case is pending, shows mostly a disdain for these rules by the defense bar . Defense Attorneys have to a great extent refused to timely produce their clients, or timely proceed for depositions ( a/k/a an examination before trial) , until compliance orders have been issued , which can take approximately 6 months to a year after filing for judicial intervention.
Some counties such as NY Supreme Court are holding civil trials with COVID prevention protocols , ie. COVID Screening and mask protocol required. I have experienced delay on trials or jury selections in some counties for over a year and a half , with no reason given by the Court except an email with a new date into early 2022. How do you explain this to your client , and how can we collectively overcome this delay and settle cases for fair amounts , or move a case along when some defense attorneys abuse the process under the excuse of COVID, giving dates 6 or more months into the future for completion of discovery? Presently, all examinations before trial are by ZOOM video for the last year and a half . This certainly was a good idea, but in light of this pandemic, insurance companies and their defense counsel, have consistently low balled plaintiffs attorneys with unreasonable or low offers, hoping that the case will continue to drag on until the injured party is so frustrated they will settle for less.
It is my hope that positive change continues . All those entering a Courthouse must be vaccinated and hopefully, there will be modernization of older Court rooms with technology so that we can get on with our task , to help injured parties who have commenced lawsuits. Yes I do believe that Justice delayed is Justice denied , and our Court calendars are backed up more than ever due to these stall tactics by the defense. Hope is in the future. Stay strong NYC and do your part by getting vaccinated.
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