Sep 25, 2020
Antidotes to Covid-19 Induced Court Paralysis
Our courts are only now beginning to recover from Covid-19 induced paralysis and the ensuing lethargy. News reports abound on the trials of developing effective vaccines to protect us from Covid-19. While judges and court administrators work valiantly to address what will be the longlingering consequences of Covid-19’s ills, the impact on civil litigation is severe: Most civil cases, long ready for trial, will not even receive potential trial dates until next year, with their trials tentatively set well into 2021 and in 2022.
Yet, there is no need to await the development of a vaccine for these problems. That is because there are already two antidotes to the Covid-19 caused delays: The general judicial reference authorized by Code of Civil Procedure section 638 and the temporary judge appointment authorized by Article VI, section 21 of our state constitution.