The Camden County court system announced it is making a significant shift in its mask policy to comply with the state judiciary policy. The changes will mean a return to normalcy for those who have business within the court.
With the coronavirus pandemic subsiding, many businesses, including those in the legal profession, have had to modify their processes. This does not necessarily mean that all businesses will be going back to the office full time.
Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC saw the benefits of a hybrid schedule during the pandemic, and we modify our business practices for our clients. Since late 2021, 90 percent of our staff have been working in the office to better serve our clients. We were also one of the first firms to return to the office.
What Are the Changes to Camden County’s Mask Policies?
A judge announced that as of right now, masks will no longer be required by those visiting the courthouses in the county. The Camden vicinage includes all courthouses throughout Camden County. In addition to the elimination of the mask mandate, the courts will also relax social distancing rules. The changes come to keep the courts in compliance with the state’s judiciary policy.
The changes are not absolute, as all petit and grand jurors will still be required to wear masks. In addition, all jury trials and grand jury proceedings will continue to adhere to a social distancing protocol of 3 feet.
It has been two years since the pandemic started, and many state governments began implementing controversial policies, such as mask mandates and forced lockdowns. With the number of new cases significantly dropping, many local governments have been relaxing their respective regulations as signs that the pandemic is ending.
What Changes Will Take Place in the Jury Selection Process?
Despite all the changes taking place throughout the county court system, there will be no changes made to its jury selection process in terms of its COVID-19 protocols.
That means that all jurors still need to perform their first day of jury service online by video. There are certain jury proceedings that will take place in person. However, those will occur only with the authorization of the Supreme Court. Jurors can raise any questions to the judge, including any COVID concerns, prior to reporting in person.
As stated, jurors will still be required to wear face masks. This is specifically true for those in the courtrooms and jury assembly rooms. They are permitted to wear their own masks; however, those masks cannot contain words or offensive symbols. The judiciary will provide disposable masks for jurors who do not bring their own.
What Impact Will the Changes Have on Civil Trials?
The presiding judge of the Civil Division recently announced that civil trials will continue but on a hybrid schedule. The jury selection portion will take place virtually, while the trial itself will be conducted live in the courthouse.
Those who have a pending trial coming up in Camden County should speak with their lawyer ahead of time to determine what the schedule is and what special precautions they will need to make. If you have concerns about showing up in person in the courthouse, you are still permitted to wear a mask if it makes you more comfortable. Otherwise, if you have a legitimate medical reason not to attend your trial in person, speak with your lawyer about the possibility of having a virtual trial.
How Has the Pandemic Impacted the Legal Industry?
Businesses had to re-think how they conduct business in the wake of the pandemic. It forced many, including those from the legal industry, to set up offices at home. While there was a period of adjustment, as lawyers adapted to meetings via video conferencing, many settled in nicely.
Lawyers found they were able to serve their clients, even if it meant not working in the office. While some lawyers bristled at the thought of returning to the office full time, our legal team at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC felt it was important to get back into the office as soon as possible.
That is why we were one of the first firms to return to the office, as we came back last year so that we could better serve our clients. While we were still effective working with clients from our respective home offices, there is no replacing face-to-face interaction.
Being back in the office has enabled us to be more productive and to increase capacity to see more clients. The result has been our ability to better serve our clients more efficiently and effectively.
Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC continues to serve our clients and have done so throughout the pandemic. More than 90 percent of our staff is working in the office. No matter whether our lawyers are working remotely or in the office, they will protect your rights.
New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC Continue to Be There For You
The legal industry has undergone numerous changes because of the pandemic. Our New Jersey Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC continue to remain committed to our clients. Call us at 856-751-7676 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more. Located in Mount Laurel, Cherry Hill, Trenton, and Vineland, New Jersey, and Trevose, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.