Earlier this week we reported that the New York State trial courts started hearing pending non-essential matters via telephone and videoconference.  Today, the Appellate Divisions in the First and Second Judicial Departments announced that they would also be resuming operations remotely.  Here's what you need to know.

First Department

The First Department announced that it will resume calendaring appeals and motions, scheduling pre-argument conferences, admitting new lawyers to the bar and processing attorney grievances.  

  • Appeals and Motions.  the court announced that it created two special terms for May and June and will begin calendaring matters shortly.  All calendared matters will be heard on submission or oral argument will take place via Skype and will be livestreamed on the court's website.  The announcement also provided guidance for new filing deadlines for the June 2020 Term, which were previously extended by Governor Cuomo's executive order (which we covered here).  The announcement also provided instructions for how to submit motions and other papers via email.
  • Attorney Admissions. The court announced that the Committee on Character and Fitness "is actively processing attorney admission applications" consistent with the joint statement from the Presiding Justices (see our post on that here).  Character and fitness interviews and admissions ceremonies will be conducted remotely.  In addition, the Court will resume issuing certificates of good standing.
  • Attorney Grievance Process.  The First Department will also resume remotely accepting and processing grievance matters.  Although there is no information yet about the new remote process, we expect that it will be announced soon.

Second Department

The Second Department announced that it will also begin calendaring appeals and resuming attorney admissions operations.

For appeals, the court has started publishing calendars for April 27 through May 8.  Similar to the first department, all matters will either be heard on submission or argued via Skype.  The announcement also includes instructions for how to request oral argument via Skype.

In addition, the Second Department is "actively processing attorney admission applications" and is conducting virtual admissions ceremonies.  The announcement also made clear that candidates who have gone through the character and fitness process will be advised of dates for their swearing-in ceremonies and candidates not yet ready for admission "will be expedited through the Character and Fitness Process."