How the Pandemic Modernized Legal Practice
The onset of the pandemic caused backups in business and necessitated the use of more creative ways to get things done, usually virtually. The legal industry is one that generally relies on tradition and is resistant to change. In-person hearings were the requirement and norm before the pandemic caused courts to close and cases to get backed up. To help continue court business, virtual hearings on Zoom started to take place across the state and the country. More than 250,000 court hearings have taken place virtually since the beginning of the pandemic. These hearings have shown how much more efficiently courts can operate without the requirement of people to appear in person.
The New Jersey Supreme Court Orders Virtual Hearings to Continue
More than 2.7 million participants have attended court through a virtual hearing, and the New Jersey Supreme Court intends for that number to grow considerably. An order released by the Court explains a framework of cases where virtual hearings are expected to continue and cases and situations where hearings must take place in person. In restraining order (TRO / FRO) cases, and criminal cases in matters involving first appearances in custody, detention hearings, and expungement cases, such proceedings are generally expected to occur virtually going forward. Trials, evidentiary hearings, and sentencing hearings are expected to take place in person going forward pursuant to the Supreme Court order. The Court determined this structure based on the lessons learned from the use of virtual hearings during the pandemic to conduct court business.
What Does This Mean Going Forward?
This means that many situations such as landlord-tenant, general civil, and uncontested divorces can take place virtually, according to the Supreme Court order. Criminal cases involve the potential loss of an individual's liberty, so the stakes are especially high in a criminal case. When someone's freedom is at stake, it is important that they are not denied their constitutional rights. Holding a hearing virtually that is required to be held in person can be a violation of your constitutional rights. On the flip side, there are many other court cases that can be conducted virtually without much of an issue. The New Jersey Supreme Court noted that virtual proceedings had saved time and reduced costs while creating fewer scheduling conflicts for those involved. The inefficiencies in the old model of in-person hearings became evident as cases started to be conducted virtually more regularly with success.
Why Hiring the Lento Law Firm is the Right Choice
If you are required to appear for a court hearing, then it is important to speak to an attorney immediately. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped countless people across New Jersey fight their cases. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team are the right choice to help you.