Following the sudden closure of courts in New York in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state is legal system is beginning to make headway on its famous backlog of cases, as judges hold phone and videoconferences on hearings. Goldberg Segalla’s David E. Leach, a partner based in Syracuse and a member of the firm’s Construction and Employment and Labor practices, spoke with Bloomberg Law about the impact of COVID-19 on the state court system, and efforts to work around the closures.
Trials remain on hold, and there’s still a ban on filing new “non-essential” lawsuits, Bloomberg Law reported, but state officials said that phone and video conferences have resulted in settlements or plea agreements in about 13,000 cases since mid-April—and that’s a good sign, David said.
“For a period of time it looked like everything was coming to a halt,” David told Bloomberg law. “When the stay-at-home order gets lifted, we were all envisioning just an avalanche of new cases, and the backlog would have to be worked down. To some extent, it is a relief to work down what you had, so hopefully, it won’t be as bad when we start up again.”
David E. Leach is a trial lawyer who has been practicing for over 30 years. He specializes in construction-related litigation and labor and employment matters. He also has handed all types of general liability matters, including, but not limited to, products liability, premises liability, property damage, and security matters.