The Circuit Court of Cook County’s Law Division will resume trial setting and trial calls as well as expand jury trials this year.
Jury Trials to Proceed in September
On September 9, 2021, Law Division Presiding Judge James P. Flannery, Jr. issued a general administrative order allowing civil court proceedings to be conducted either in person, remotely, or in some combination of the two. Additionally, jury trials may proceed in all sections of the Law Division by September 20. The format of the proceedings will be up to the trial judge’s discretion.
The Law Division hears civil lawsuits for recovery of damages in excess of $30,000.00 in Chicago and in excess of $100,000.00 in Cook County suburbs, along with many kinds of administrative reviews. The lawsuits may include those filed by personal injury attorneys for incidents resulting in injury, including cases of auto and construction accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death.
Law Division Impacted by COVID-19
The court reduced the scale of its operations in March 2020 because of COVID-19 capacity restrictions. These restrictions significantly limited the ability to carry out jury trials.
The Circuit Court started conducted jury trials again in March 2021. The new order allows the Law Division to accommodate jury trials for as many as 15 to 20 cases at a time. The court will continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines for masking, social distancing, and temperature checks.
Judge Flannery noted in his order that having all persons physically present for proceedings would be preferred, “with the understanding that each impending court proceeding may be evaluated to determine whether it is appropriate for some or all participants to appear remotely.”
Jury trial dates originally set from March 17, 2020 through March 31, 2022 will be converted to “Trial Setting” dates, with the Jury Trial Setting Call to resume on September 20. Trials will be set in chronological order based upon the original trial date in order to insure that the parties who have waited the longest will have their cases tried first. All cases that are ready for trial will be assigned to a judge at random.
Fighting for Victims Inside and Outside of the Courtroom
Whether or not a personal injury lawsuit goes to trial, having knowledgeable legal representation is essential for obtaining a successful outcome. If you have been wrongfully injured, consider following in the footsteps of thousands of other victims and retain the personal injury attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
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