How Courts Keep the Pressure On

By on October 5, 2020

Judges and litigants are attempting to call each other’s bluff. The pattern often plays out as follows: Court sets trial; litigants move to continue, citing COVID-19; judges deny continuance; matter resolves. We saw this play out last week in a criminal matter in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. With trial set for October 13, the parties jointly moved on September 22 to continue the jury trial. The US attorney and the federal public defender service both told the court that they needed four more weeks due to pandemic restrictions. On September 23, Judge William Young denied the motion without comment. Six days later, the defendant pled guilty.

Meanwhile, in Judge Allison Burrough’s session, a criminal jury trial that was set for September 15, and then today, is now set for October 13.

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Our 200-lawyer litigation practice advises clients of all sizes, from multinational corporations to individual plaintiffs and defendants. We successfully represent our clients in federal and state courts around the country. The strength of our lawyers is based on the fundamental principle that excellence in client service mandates deep substantive knowledge in a broad range of industries and areas of the law, and―when required―incomparable ability and success in the courtroom.

McDermott’s litigation team monitors US courts as they reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

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