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Civil Courts Committee Update

CIVIL COURTS COMMITTEE UPDATE
Vol. 3
April 2021

The Civil Courts Committee recently met with Administrative Judge Gonzalez.

RETURN TO COURTHOUSE FOR ALL JUDGES AND COURT STAFF

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore released a message to the legal community, which included an announcement that, effective Monday, May 24th, "all judges and court staff will be required to physically return to work in their assigned courthouses. It is time to return to our normal and full courthouse staffing levels in order to support the fuller resumption of in-person operations, including jury trials and other proceedings in our courts."

Starting on Monday, April 26th all Court staff that has the properly equipped space will be returning to the Bronx Courthouse.  Those where the space needs to be converted to account for social distancing will transition back as safety allows.  The plan is to have full staff in the building by Monday, May 24th. 

Please keep in mind that this does not open the doors to attorneys at this point, but it is an optimistic step forward.

MICROSOFT TEAMS CONFERENCES

A Microsoft Teams link from any Judge/Part and the related details (date & time) overrides any ELaw date.

Please do not call the Judge or Part asking if the ELaw date is for a conference, at this time it is not.

Do NOT rely on ELaw for conference dates.  Presently, ELaw dates are for control/administrative purposes only.  Until the Courthouse reopens for in person operations, ONLY Microsoft Teams links are to be considered "real" dates and you should appear accordingly.

The only way to obtain a Microsoft Teams link for a conference is to request per the Judge’s part rules or your adversary has made the request.  As a reminder, when requesting any conference be certain to include email contact for all parties. 

All Judge/Part rules we have received to date can be found here.

INQUESTS

The Court has mailed notices for inquest scheduling.  Please return it to the Court as directed at the bottom of the notice.  If you have a date you can expect that Judge Gonzalez will conference the case and then assign it to a Judge.  The assigned Judge will conference the case, discuss scheduling and submission of records.   

TRIALS

Jury panels are scheduled to come in April, May and June.  If you have a case where all sides are ready for trial (bench, SJT or jury trial), fax a letter to Judge Gonzalez.  

Successful blockbusters with NYCHA are ongoing.  The next is scheduled for April 29th.

We have been advised that HHC has agreed to proceed with bench trials in some cases.  

MATRIMONIAL

All matrimonial cases are now open to NYCEF.

 

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Watch Bronx Trial Live Today!

Watch trial live today with Judge Suarez

If you experience trouble connecting, please be patient, wait a few minutes and try again!

 

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Notice of 2021 BCBA Election

NOTICE OF 2021 ELECTION OF BRONX COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION OFFICERS & BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Notice is hereby given that the BCBA's election of Officers and Board of Directors will be held at the Annual Meeting to be held on May 12, 2021 at 5:00 pm via Zoom for the purpose of electing the following Officers and Directors:

OFFICERS

CHAIRPERSON OF THE BOARD:  Peter Ridge
PRESIDENT:  Wayne Wattley 
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT:  Michael Barsky
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT:  Patricia Luca
SECRETARY:  Laura Jordan
TREASURER:  Sergio Villaverde
FINANCIAL SECRETARY:  Rene Hill

DIRECTORS
(3 year term commencing July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2024)

David Blum
Daniel Chavez
John Montes, Jr.
Susan McElwreath

 

 

 


Court example with Sponsor

 

 

 


IMPORTANT: Microsoft Teams Link Trumps ELaw Date

IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ

MICROSOFT TEAMS CONFERENCES

A Microsoft Teams link from any Judge/Part and the related details (date & time) overrides any ELaw date.

Please do not call the Judge or Part asking if the ELaw date is for a conference, at this time it is not.

Do NOT rely on ELaw for conference dates.  Presently, ELaw dates are for control/administrative purposes only.  Until the Courthouse reopens for in person operations, ONLY Microsoft Teams links are to be considered "real" dates and you should appear accordingly.

The only way to obtain a Microsoft Teams link for a conference is to request per the Judge’s part rules or your adversary has made the request.  As a reminder, when requesting any conference be certain to include email contact for all parties. 

All Judge/Part rules we have received to date can be found here.

 

Sponsored by:


Register for CLE Tomorrow & Wednesday Lunch with Judge Cohen
Register today!!

Everyday Bias, Everyday Solutions: Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion CLE - April 13th
 
Lunch with Judge Cohen - April 14th 

You can register for each program at www.bronxbar.com
See details below
 

EVERYDAY BIAS, EVERYDAY SOLUTIONS:
ADVANCING DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION IN 
YOUR WORLD

Faculty:

Karen L. DeMeola, Esq., Past President
Cecil J. Thomas, Esq., President-Elect
Connecticut Bar Assocition

April 13, 2021

Time:          1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M.
Location:     ONLINE ZOOM WEBINAR
Cost:*         FREE to Bronx County Bar Members

                  $10 for Non-Members
Register Online: www.bronxbar.com

Credits:    One (1) Credit in Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias

CLEs Sponsored by:

.

         

AFTER CLE REGISTRATION YOU WILL RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION EMAIL WITH ALL THE DETAILS OF HOW TO LOG ONTO THE PROGRAM ON THE DAY OF AND DOWNLOAD THE NECESSARY MATERIALS

DO NOT DELETE YOUR CONFIRMATION EMAIL

IF YOU DON'T RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION EMAIL WITHIN 2 HOURS OF SIGNING UP PLEASE EMAIL BRONXBAR1@gmail.com 

Experienced NY attorneys (attorneys who have been admitted to the NY Bar for more than 2 years) may earn CLE credit through nontraditional formats.  Newly admitted attorneys (attorneys who have been admitted to the NY Bar for 2 years or less) should confirm that the format is permissible for the category of credit.

 


RSVP FOR OUR NEXT

Lunch with a Judge Teams Talk
 
   Monday, April 14, 2021
   1:00 pm    
 
Featuring 
Judge Andrew J. Cohen
Supreme Court Justice, Bronx County
 
A Microsoft Teams Link will be sent the morning of the Lunch
Any questions please email us at bronxbar1@gmail.com 
 

Updated Part 14 Rules for Judge Perez & MV CSO

Motor Vehicle Part Update

Starting today, in all motor vehicle cases a Preliminary Conference Order and Case Scheduling Order will be generated by the Court.  See here for what to expect.  Please read carefully and pay attention to time limits. 

Updated Part 14 Rules for Judge Perez can be found here.


NEW - Virtual Bench Trial Procedures & Protocols

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced new procedures and protocols for virtual bench trials. 

The new guide, "Virtual Bench Trial Protocols and Procedures," is now available to review HERE.


Lower Civil Court Update

The Civil Courts Committee recently met with Supervising Judge Myrna Socorro for an update on lower civil.

Judiciary:  Civil Court has welcomed back home three judges, Judges Matt Raso, Connie Morales and John Howard-Algarin.

No Fault:  There are daily 9:30 am remote no fault calendar calls - if you have not joined the roster yet send an email to CIVBX-MS-CONTACTINFO@NYCOURTS.GOV and provide your name, firm name, phone number and email address with the subject line “No Fault” and you will be added.  We have been advised that per diem attorneys have also been handling many of these calendar calls, so that is another option, please reach out!

Judge Socorro continues to conference cases in TAP 21 & 22.  At the present, she has conferenced almost her entire inventory which resulted in some settlements and bench trials and some attorneys have independently agreed, to mediate/arbitrate.  Any other cases remaining are awaiting jurors for trials and/or SJT.  If you have a case in Part 21 or 22 that has already been conferenced and not resolved, you will get an adjourned date from the Part.   Please note, this is essentially a control date as we wait for jurors to return.  If you believe your case would benefit from a conference or both sides would consider to do a bench trial, contact the Court and it will be arranged.   If you have a case in Part 21 or 22 and have not had a conference, contact the Court.  Correspondence should be sent by email to CIVBX-MS-CONTACTINFO@NYCOURTS.GOV.  Include the index number and name of the case in the subject and in the email provide you name, firm, address, phone number and email address along with contact information for your adversary.

If you have received a scheduling order, both parties should respond with contact information as this will be the only way the Court can schedule a Microsoft Teams meeting. 

Small Claims:  The Court has been working on scheduling virtual trials for the older matters.  Any small claims that was filed before the shut down that was scheduled first time on during the pandemic, or cases that have been filed during the pandemic will be referred to mediation first; those that have already had a mediation and are not resolved will be scheduled for a virtual trial.

At the beginning of this year, and while we are still in a virtual mode, Parts 11, 15, 37 and 39 have been combined.  Currently, in Terms 1 and 2 Judge Gomez is in this combined part.  For Terms 3 and forward other judges will be assigned to this Part.  This combined part is to conference cases and also to schedule virtual bench trials.

Consumer Credit:  The Court is working through those matters filed pre-pandemic.  More information will be forthcoming. However, if there are any cases that are 2 attorney cases (meaning an attorney for plaintiff and an attorney for defendant) and you are one of the attorneys and have not yet had a conference with the Court, please email Judge Socorro at CIVBX-MS-Contactinfo@nycourts.gov (and cc your adversary in the email, and provide the Court with the index number and the contact information for attorneys for both plaintiff and defendant.

We thank Judge Socorro and all the Judges and staff for their efforts during this pandemic!


Part Rules for Judge Perez & Judge Jimenez-Salta

Please see the links below for Rules in Part 14, Judge Perez and Part 27, Judge Jimenez-Salta:

Judge Perez, Part 14

Judge Jimenez-Salta, Part 27


IMPORTANT MESSAGE REGARDING MAJOR CHANGES TO THE PRACTICE OF LAW IN COURTS
Pursuant to Administrative Order 270/20effective Feb. 1, 2021, Chief Administrative Judge Larry Marks has incorporated many Commercial Division Rules into the Uniform Rules for the Supreme Court and County Court. These additions and amendments to the existing Uniform Rules affect appearances, conferences, communications with the court, filing of papers, discovery, interrogatories, privilege logs, depositions, TROs, orders to show cause, motions, oral argument, and trial and pretrial practice. 
 
We have highlighted a few of the important changes below, but encourage you to read the full Administrative Order:
 
- Appearance Counsel MUST have knowledge and authority of the case (Exhibit A)
- Interrogatories LIMITED to 25 in number (Exhibit G)
- LIMIT on number of depositions and number of hours per deponent (Exhibit J)
- Sanctions PERMITTED for non-compliance with a discovery schedule (Exhibit M)
 - Prior to submission of a discovery motion, the attorney MUST attempt to resolve discovery issues. In the event a motion is the only means to resolve the issue, the attorney affirmation MUST include attempts at resolution as set forth in rule 14 (Exhibit N)
 - Adjournments of conferences will only be granted UPON A SHOWING OF GOOD CAUSE (Exhibit P)
 - Parties may appear by electronic means when requested and the Court is encouraged to grant such requests (Exhibit P)
 - LIMIT as to the length of motion papers (submitted in Rule 17) (Exhibit R)
 - SIGNIFICANT CHANGES to how motions for summary judgment are prepared (eg. now movant is required to annex a short concise statement to demonstrate no issue of fact) (Exhibit U)
 - Important CHANGES TO TRIAL PRACTICE and Procedure regarding exhibits, witnesses, trial memoranda and testimony (Exhibit X through BB)
 - STAGGERED COURT APPEARANCES - in order to increase efficiency, courts will schedule each appearance at a set time interval of time. To ensure all parties receive notice of the appearance, counsel on every matter is required to exchange email addresses and notify each other of notices of court appearances. (Exhibit CC)
 

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