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COVID-19 UPDATE: NY State Courts Expanding Virtual Court Operations

New York, New York–April 30, 2020–The Honorable Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts for the State of New York, wrote a memorandum to all trial court justices and judges on April 30, 2020, expanding virtual court operations beginning Monday, May 4, 2020.  The Courts will begin accepting new motions, responsive papers to prior motions, and additional filings in pending cases, will offer additional alternative dispute resolution access, and will be accepting electronic filings of notices of appeal.  The Courts are still not accepting any new non-essential matters.  Specifically, in an effort to “increase access to justice and expand judicial services,” the memo summarized the Court’s next steps as follows:

“• Expanded motion practice. New motions, responsive papers to previously filed motions, and other applications (including post-judgment applications) may be filed electronically in pending cases, either (1) through our NYSCEF e-filing system in jurisdictions that have it; or (2) through a new electronic document delivery system that we have created for courts and jurisdictions where e-filing is unavailable. This new document delivery system enables lawyers and litigants to send documents to courts for filing and other purposes in a secure and efficient manner. Details concerning the new system are available on the court system’s web site and from your Administrative Judge. Note that a requirement of the new document delivery system is that all filings require service by electronic means.

Problem-solving courts. Problem-solving courts may conduct virtual court conferences with counsel, court staff, and service providers, via Skype for Business.

ADR. Judges may resume referral of matters for alternative dispute resolution, including to neutrals on court-established panels, community dispute resolution centers, and ADR-dedicated court staff.

Appeals. Notices of appeal may be filed electronically, either through NYSCEF or through the new document delivery system.”

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Formed in 2018 by attorney Evan S. Fensterstock, a New York Rising Star business litigator for the last five consecutive years, Fensterstock, P.C. represents clients in complex, commercial litigation and employment matters in trials, appeals, and negotiations on both the plaintiff and defense side in New York state and federal courts, and in arbitration, in cases involving breach of contract, indemnification, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, non-competition agreements and restrictive covenants, defamation, trade secret misappropriation, shareholder derivative suits, negligence, accounting and legal malpractice, false light invasion of privacy, injunctions, and Sarbanes Oxley whistleblower actions. The Fensterstock name has been respected by the legal community for nearly a century, starting with New York Assistant Attorney General Nathaniel Fensterstock (1916-1988), Evan Fensterstock’s grandfather, who wrote the History of New York Social Welfare Legislation in 1941, and Blair C. Fensterstock (1950-2017), Evan Fensterstock’s late father, a Columbia Law Graduate, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and a Top 100 Business Litigator, known for, among other notable matters, trying cases arising out of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

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