Supreme Court Amends Judicial Emergency Order

On May 13, the Vermont Supreme Court amended Administrative Order 49, the order declaring a Judicial Emergency.  The amendments and Explanatory Note are here.  They include an amendment that applies to lawyers scheduled to renew their law licenses in 2020.

Reading this blog is not a substitute for reading the Court’s Order and amendments.

Sequelize's Update Method — example included - Sarah Herr - Medium

That being said, yes, the Judicial Emergency has been extended through September 1.  However, yesterday’s order anticipates the State’s transition to an expansion of operations. Indeed, the opening sentences of the Explanatory Note:

  • “The May 13 amendment extends the Judicial Emergency until September 1, 2020. This does not signal that the existing provisions in the emergency order will necessarily remain in place until that time.”

Rather, the amendment acknowledges that that the health crisis is unlikely

  • “to fully resolve before September 1, and that deviations from historical court practice, or modifications to at least some court rules, will be necessary through the upcoming summer.”

A summary of the May 13 amendments:

  • The blanket suspension of nonemergency hearings in the Superior Courts and Judicial Bureau has been lifted.
  • In criminal cases, jury trials are suspended until at least September 1, 2020.  Jury summons will not be sent before August 3.
  • In civil cases, jury trials are suspended until at least January 1, 2021.
  • For the attorney relicensing period that ends on June 30, 2020, attorneys facing financial hardship because of COVID-19 may defer payment of the relicensing fee until September 1, 2020.  NOTE: even if deferring the fee, an attorney must still complete the attorney licensing statement and CLE reporting by June 30, 2020.

The original Order and prior amendments:

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