Law firms are flooding the Civil Division Office with telephone calls on the “day of” remote calendars asking for Zoom Links to be re-sent to addresses that have previously been verified and provided by the offending law firms in eCourts.

It appears that the reasons firms are asking for Zoom Links to be re-sent are internal to those law firms. By way of example:

  • The firm is using a general law firm email box to receive links and specific attorneys cannot access the general email box;
  • Information in eCourts is for a senior partner of the firm, but not the actual attorney within the firm handling the matter, and the Zoom Link has not been internally forwarded to the appearing attorney; or
  • eCourts lists the incorrect attorney.

In each instance, court staff are providing Zoom Links as instructed.

At present, the Bergen Vicinage is down fifty-one (51) staff and as you can well imagine, imposing another unnecessary step or interruption is challenging.

The Bergen County Bar Association has always risen to the occasion, and I ask for your cooperation now in ensuring that information provided by your firm is correct, that it is updated appropriately, when necessary, and that internal protocols be put in place to address this issue.

I thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

/s/ Bonnie J. Mizdol, A.J.S.C.
Bergen County

 

August 13, 2020 Bench Bar Conference

On August 13, 2020, Judge Mizdol met with the executive officers and substantive committee chairs of the Bergen County Bar Association for a Bench Bar Conference.

These conferences provide for the exchange of information and ideas between our members and our Bergen County Judiciary and we appreciate the continuation of this program.

During the recent meeting with Judge Mizdol, she explained the great efforts that she and the Bergen Judiciary are making to enable attorneys and litigants to return to the Courthouse.  The efforts include, but are not limited to, courtroom layouts, safety and sanitary measures, social distancing requirements, courtroom logistics meaning what courtrooms can accommodate what cases, and protection of staff, attorneys, litigants, and judges.  We should all be aware that the courthouse has gone through a thorough cleaning process in order to ensure everyone’s safety.

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NOTICE TO THE BAR

Last Thursday, April 16th, 2020, I participated in a Zoom Bench-Bar Meeting with your President, Joseph Maurice, Executive Director, Frank O’Marra, and the Chairs of your Civil, Family, Chancery, Criminal and Municipal Practice Committees.

My goal was to provide information about the new way we are doing the court’s business during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the meeting, I listened intently to the concerns of the Bergen Bar and am hopeful that I allayed some fears.   I wanted to reinforce that most court proceedings continue to be conducted remotely using video and/or phone options.

Just this morning, our Chief Justice issued a new Omnibus Order restating the judiciary’s commitment “to supporting court operations in a virtual format to the greatest extent possible, subject to constitutional considerations and the limitations of our finite resources.”  The Order speaks for itself, but provides that no civil or criminal jury trials will be conducted until further notice, that grand juries are suspended through May 31, 2020, as are Landlord/Tenant calendars and lockouts. Read More