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Unlikely ‘virtual’ parts of post-pandemic state court system are reversed

New York state courts are unlikely to fully return to pre-pandemic operations, according to the Commission to Reimagine the Future of New York’s Courts.

The report suggests that remote listening sessions and virtual proceedings, which were implemented on an emergency basis during the pandemic, have been well received and should continue to be used where possible.

The report also calls for further investment in technology and staffing, which is expected to enhance access to justice, improve the experience of litigants, and save time and money. It was produced following public hearings, more than 30 remote listening sessions, testimony from more than 300 people, and thousands of pages of input.

The working group included judges, attorneys, court administrators, academics, and technology experts. Hank Greenberg, former president of the New York State Bar Association, chaired the commission, and State Supreme Court Justice Craig Doran chaired the working group.

Overall, the report is seen as a call for change in a legal system that is based on tradition and precedent that has seen little change before.