The NJ Courts have closed for jury trials again because COVID cases are skyrocketing in New Jersey. The court will continue to do as much as they can by Zoom, but that is generally limited to motions and conferences. If you want your case settled via a trial, you might be waiting for some time.
New case filings from July – September 2020 are down about 4% in Civil Part (claims greater than $15,000) while case resolutions are down 20%. Civil Part case backlog (meaning they are over the standard for handling that case type) at the end of September 2020 was about 25,500 cases. Total active pending Civil Part cases was about 95,000.
During normal times, there are about 40 trials per week in NJ for Civil Part cases. Over this three month period, there were 24 total trials held (half of which were actions in lieu of prerogative writs).
If you want or need your litigation resolved (during COVID or otherwise), consider alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is a process where an impartial mediator helps the parties find a resolution that addresses each party’s interests/needs. The resolution rate in mediations I conduct is about 70%. Arbitration is essentially where a private judge decides the outcome of the case. There are plusses and minuses to arbitration. I also offer hybrids of these, both med-arb and arb-med.
I have openings if you would like to try to get your lawsuit resolved by the end of 2020 — gaining some positive out of a horrible year. Contact me to discuss how I can help resolve your issues.