Brought to you by Robert N. Pelier, P.A. and Aymee C. Gonzalez, P. A
The Pandemic has shaken up and disturbed every facet of our society, and our judicial system has not been immune to its wrath.
Our local court system here in Miami-Dade County has been plagued by substantial delays and backlog for years. In fact, before the Pandemic struck in 2020, some local Courts were utilizing a so called “Trial-Blitz,” in order to quickly conduct trials in as many cases as possible, and hopefully relieve some of the backlog. The pandemic put an end to all such efforts and worsened the backlog by a significant degree. When Courts began to close in the Spring of 2020, our local Courts were not ready for the rise of virtual hearings. Prior to this time, unlike in other jurisdictions, virtual hearings were not commonplace in Miami and the Courts were simply not immediately equipped to transition to an online platform, causing further delays. Covid-19 also lead to the months-long suspension of jury trials, and intermittent suspensions thereafter depending on local Covid case numbers and the effects of new variants. Even as jury trials have commenced, our Courthouses cannot accommodate a large number of trials at one time, in keeping with social distancing guideline. Unfortunately, litigants in Miami-Dade County should expect that their case will take longer to go through the court system then it would have in the pre-pandemic world.
The pandemic has caused our local Court system to adapt to a new normal very quickly. The Supreme Court of Florida has responded to this backlog by ordering Courts throughout the state to adhere to strict scheduling guidelines intended to push cases through the court system as efficiently as possible. Our local Courts also now function very efficiently via virtual hearings. Under the current rules in place for Miami-Dade County, many hearing are now being conducted exclusively via Zoom, with only the more complex or significant hearings being conducted in person. In many ways, this Pandemic has forced our Court system into the 21st century.
If you have a case pending locally in Miami-Dade County, or are considering initiating a lawsuit, you need to consider the implications of the pandemic in your case. Litigants should consider different forms of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, in order to try resolve their case sooner rather than later. An experienced attorney can explain your options in detail and describe any effects the pandemic may have on your case.
At the Law Office of Robert N. Pelier, P.A. we take pride in serving our local South Florida community. We have decades of experience in civil cases of all kinds, including breach of contract, medical malpractice, insurance disputes, business disputes, personal injury, crime victim advocacy and much more. Our experience helping and advocating for our clients in South Florida can help you.