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(3 minutes to read) It’s been over a year since the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, leaving an unfamiliar landscape as to how to conduct everyday business. Legal professionals in New York State were not strangers to this uncertainty.

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(1.5 minutes to read)  Chief Judge Janet DiFiore recently announced that courthouses across New York State are looking forward to the complete return of judges and court staff by May 24th, 2021. She explained how both the court leadership team and administrative judges are in the process of developing safe protocols to ensure normal staffing levels in all courthouses. Such efforts are essential in order to conduct in-person operations, such as jury trials and other court proceedings.

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(2.5 minutes to read)   A few weeks ago, the Future Trials Working Group of the Commission to Reimagine the Future of New York Courts released a report. Here, the Working Group made recommendations as to how trials would be conducted in the upcoming months and years using emerging technologies. While the pandemic has posed many challenges this past year for courts across New York state, it has also reinforced the importance of technology. This unprecedented time has imposed a new normal as to how virtual proceedings and communications within the court system will be conducted moving forward. 

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(1 minute to read)  The Unified Court System announced that beginning on April 1st, 2021, it will no longer pay the service fee for credit card transactions entered by Court users. The Court System explained that it would be implementing this change due to its ongoing budgetary concerns, and as a result, a processing fee of 2.99% of the payment amount will be assessed on all credit card payments.

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(1 minute to read)  Recently, the Appellate Division, First Department announced Spring Term operation updates. Additionally, the Court specified that since it plans on resuming in-person oral arguments on Wednesdays, it would also continue administering its online oral argument survey. The Court specified that all attorneys and self-represented litigants who have perfected appeals are required to fill out the survey. Only those who have recently perfected their appeals must complete the survey. The survey form can be found on the Appellate Division, First Department website homepage under the oral argument survey tab: Oral Argument Preference | Survey (

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