As the current health and economic crisis associated with COVID-19 (coronavirus) develops, MAJ will continue to update members with important developments, news and opportunities to help in the trial attorney and greater legal communities.
MD AND US DISTRICT COURTS EXTEND CLOSURES
On Tuesday, April 14, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Mary Ellen Barbera issued an administrative order for Maryland courts that will extend the term of emergency operations through June 5, 2020. This means that all matters scheduled through June 5, 2020 are either postponed or suspended unless otherwise indicated by the court. With respect to jury trials, when the Chief Judge issues an order declaring the emergency over, the date for any jury trial scheduled more than six weeks out will be maintained, subject to further order of the Chief Judge.

Individual courts retain the option to perform remote hearings for emergency matters and resolve matters that may be addressed without a proceeding. Administrative judges also have the option to review whether to hold proceedings for criminal or incarcerated defendants on an emergency basis.

CORRECTION: Statutes of limitations were, in fact, extended on April 8, 2020 via a previous administrative order. MAJ apologizes for any confusion.

Timeline of relevant administrative orders for MD Courts [PDF]:


On April 10, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland issued two Orders. First, Standing Order 2020-07 postpones all civil, criminal and bankruptcy proceedings in the federal court, including all court appearances, trials, hearings, settlement conferences, and conference calls, through June 5, 2020, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge in an individual case. The Order further extends all filing deadlines in all cases originally set to fall between March 16, 2020 and June 5, 2020, by eighty-four (84) days, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge in an individual case.
 
Second, the federal court’s COVID-19 Pandemic Procedures Order exempts the conduct of discovery in civil cases from the suspension of deadlines in Standing Order 2020-07, unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge in an individual case, and provided that the parties agree to continue with discovery, and provided that discovery does not involve conduct by the parties or counsel that would compromise public health orders or directives.
 
Previous Orders issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland temporarily suspended all in-court proceedings in the Southern Division courthouse in Greenbelt. All emergency proceedings in civil, criminal or bankruptcy matters arising in the Southern Division will be heard in the Northern Division courthouse in Baltimore. Electronic filing through CM/ECF remains available for all cases in both Divisions in the Maryland federal court.

MAJ Staff will continue to monitor statements and administrative orders issued by courts as they become available.
Maryland Association for Justice, Inc.