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.
CHIEF JUDGE RETURNS COURTS TO PHASE II AND CANCELS JURY TRIALS
Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera has issued a new series of administrative orders regarding court operations across Maryland. The courts will return to Phase II level operations beginning on November 30, 2020 and will suspend all jury trials scheduled through February 12, 2021. This includes civil jury trials unless a jury has already been empaneled. Trial dates that have been scheduled during this time will be scheduled some time after February 16, 2021 with priority being given to criminal trials.

In addition, courts are ordered to conduct remote proceedings to the greatest extent possible and continue considering matters that can be addressed without a hearing. The clerks’ offices will only available to the public by appointment and for emergency situations and judges should limit the number of people in a courtroom or court building. These rules will be in effect through January 15, 2021

The full text of the administrative orders can be found below:


Please visit mdcourts.gov/coronavirusphasedreopening for additional information on Phase II cases. If you have business with the courts, please check mdcourts.gov or call the clerk’s office for information before arriving at a courthouse. As before, all court visitors and employees are required to wear a face mask, submit to a no-contact temperature check, a COVID-19 health screening questionnaire and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT IN MD EXTENDS PHASE 1 PROTOCOLS
Since November 1, 2020, federal courts in Maryland reverted back to COVID protocols from Phase 1 of the state's emergency pandemic response. These protocols were initially scheduled to last only a matter of weeks, but since then, U.S. District Court for Maryland Chief Judge James K. Bredar issued a follow-up order extending those protocols through January 15, 2021.

During this time, all in-court hearings and proceedings will be suspended and no one will be able to enter any federal courthouse without permission. The public will still have access to dropboxes between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday and court staff will continue to contact parties and counsel to determine whether proceedings will become virtual or be postponed.

For more detailed information, read the full text of the standing order.
MAJ will continue to monitor developments as they occur and keep members informed.
Maryland Association for Justice, Inc.