Rountree Leitman & Klein, LLC: COVID-19 Updates
Today, the Georgia Supreme Court announced that Chief Justice Harold D. Melton will be extending the state wide Judicial Emergency Order for another month through June 12, 2020. The press release indicates that “[u]nder the new extension order, courts will be urged to develop plans for building back non-critical operations that can be conducted remotely by videoconferencing or by maintaining adherence to public health guidelines.” The new extension order will continue to suspend all jury trials. Presumably, the new extension order will also continue to suspend deadlines, discovery, statutes of limitations, and the like. State courts and Judges are taking different approaches in relation to non-emergency civil cases. While civil cases such as evictions and collection actions may still be filed, many of the deadlines for responses are stayed.
This extended stay period provides a prime opportunity for counsel and parties to engage in mediation and even continue taking discovery through virtual means. During this judicial emergency the attorneys at Rountree Leitman & Klein, LLC have attended virtual status conferences, hearings, mediations, and depositions. These virtual meetings have been conducted through platforms such as Zoom and Cisco WebEx. Further, as stated in a previous post, federal and bankruptcy courts, including the Northern District of Georgia, continue operating, with most hearings and conferences occurring telephonically. Deadlines and the like are generally not stayed in these federal and bankruptcy courts.
The Georgia Supreme Court’s press release on this extension is available here: https://www.gasupreme.us/extend-judicial-emergency/?fbclid=IwAR2RLms3wBlhILtSUEFBENFRzY-Kvm7w-Yl9lXah6vkB3qkDRAPr6vLa3Pg