The United States District Court for the Central District of California, the nation’s largest federal trial court, has resumed full civil and criminal jury trials, effective February 28th. Jury trials had been severely curtailed during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Likewise, the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the largest unified state trial court in the country, resumed both civil and criminal jury trials on February 14th. The Los Angeles Superior Court did announce that some jury trial operations would continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
There is a severe backlog of both criminal and civil jury trials in California, due to the prolonged impact of the Pandemic. Under both federal and State law, criminal trials will take precedence over civil trials as the courts attempt to clear the backlog.
It is important for clients to consider alternative dispute resolution forums than the court system for quicker resolution of legal matters. Mediation, arbitration and judicial reference are effective options for litigants to consider.