Members of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association’s Bench-Bar Committee convened with key Valley judicial officers and Bar leaders for a remote State of the Valley Courts Update and FAQs Regarding COVID-19.
A detailed and specific report on the briefing is being prepared and will be issued on Friday, April 17.
The session featured Judge Huey P. Cotton, Judge David B. Gelfound, Judge Darrell Mavis, Judge Virginia Keeny and Judge Joseph A. Brandolino, who detailed the latest updates on activities at the Valley’s courtrooms and courthouses.
Some of the major points covered during the session included:
- First and foremost, civility is required! Because the courts are operating during a pandemic, attorneys should behave according to the highest level of professionalism –judges will issue sanctions to attorneys that don’t meet the standard;
- The number of courtrooms in operation went from 400 to 128 and the number of employees went from 4,900 to a few hundred;
- When the court reconvenes, criminal matters, unlawful detainer matters, and civil preference trials will take priority; based on a projected opening of the courts on June 22, civil jury trials will likely not begin for 60-90 days;
- Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles is serving pro se litigants remotely, and they expect an onslaught of services in matters involving evictions, employment termination, family law matters and small business SBA loans;
- The Superior Court’s Court Commissioner Selection Committee will publish the final list of 30 Commissioner-elects by tomorrow;
- Judge Kevin Brazile has issued roles for the new COVID-19 Council, and the new local advisory team with SFVBA, which will evaluate how best to get court operations ramped up with maximum leverage of technology and a blueprint to maintain social distancing as courts resume heavier caseloads and trials.