Long Island Federal Court Coronavirus-Related Order

An interesting order today from Magistrate Judge James Orenstein.

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To allow for disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, I stay all proceedings before me for six weeks, until April 20, 2020.

In the coming days, I will enter an amended scheduling order in each civil case assigned to me for pretrial supervision. As of the date of this order, however, all conferences currently scheduled before me in civil cases are adjourned to the same weekday and time six weeks after the originally scheduled date. For example, a conference scheduled for Monday, March 9, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. would be rescheduled for Monday, April 20, 2020, at 9:30 a.m.

I recognize that there may be some cases in which parties may believe that some or all of the litigation requires greater urgency. This order is without prejudice to the right of any party in any case to seek reconsideration or an alternate form of scheduling relief. However, before making any such motion, I respectfully direct the movant to confer with all other parties to the case and discuss ways to ensure that all persons involved in the litigation, as well as their colleagues, can take appropriate steps to safeguard their own health as well as the health of the community.

The purpose of this order is to remove, to the extent I can, any pressure on participants in the cases before me to prioritize the needs of the litigation over the more urgent need to promote public health.

NEXT: Manhattan Federal Court Coronavirus-Related Restrictions

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  1. “The purpose of this order is to remove, to the extent I can, any pressure on participants in the cases before me to prioritize the needs of the litigation over the more urgent need to promote public health.“
    Gotta call BS on this. Did the judge even ask any of the participants in litigation if they had any pressing needs, or hear any motions to delay? Sounds like a public employee taking advantage of his position to stiff the public of the services his salary demands.

    1. 1. Probably most parties can accept the delay.

      2. The judge and court staff would spend a lot of time trying to interviews all parties, especially when multiple parties to a case need to all be consulted. It would be far more efficient and thorough for the court to send notices and encourage the various parties to coordinate among themselves.

      3. The few who don’t want a delay can self-select and let the court know, and if they follow the judge’s advice and coordinate among themselves first, it will save everybody a lot of trouble.

    2. I think six weeks is a bit much although if his calendar is currently scheduled five or six weeks out I could see why he would put it off until after that so that there are no conflicts with another case that has been scheduled. If he is getting numerous requests for adjournments it saves resources by presumptively adjourning everything and only dealing with those matters where there are issues.

  2. Why are courts conducting face to face conferences anyways?

    I never practiced in federal court but in Ohio state courts these conferences just last a few minutes and deal with scheduling or occasionally some minor discovery dispute.

    Do them by telephone. Or Skype/Facetime. Always.

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