CLEVELAND - March 25, 2020 - As our legal system faces challenges due to coronavirus and ongoing emergency health measures, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan Sheehan in collaboration with The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associationconvened a COVID-19 Task Force to help guide decisions related to coronavirus and the courts.
The Task Force held its first meeting via video conference on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The group represents a cross-section of the legal community including attorneys from small, mid-sized and large firms, government agencies, in-house legal departments, and nonprofits. In addition to Judge Sheehan and staff, judges from each court division (Federal, General, Domestic, Juvenile, Probate, Court of Appeals and Municipal) joined the conversation.
“The rule of law is never more important than during a crisis,” said Judge Sheehan. "By working together as a legal community we can make the best decisions to protect public health and to keep our justice system working for the future.”
While the group will be meeting weekly, it has immediately begun tackling a number of issues that were raised during this initial conference. Topics include procedural uniformity between courts, defining what presently constitutes essential operations, alternatives to physical appearances during litigation, and a centralized information source to improve communication.
“I commend Judge Brendan Sheehan and all of our judges for their leadership during this uncertain time, remarked CMBA President Ian Friedman. “This collaboration, as seen during the video conference, between so many legal community stakeholders is absolutely remarkable. It is clear that all avenues to keep people safe while maintaining essential court operations will be explored without delay. During this period of great adversity, I could not be more proud to be a member of our local legal community. The CMBA will continue to work tirelessly with all task force members and will serve as a bridge to the community by regularly disseminating all developments.”
The CMBA created clemetrobar.org/covid19 as a resource for the legal community. It includes links to all local courts for the most up-to-date information, along with important public health resources. CMBA’s channels on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are also sharing court orders, delays and policy notices as we receive them.
About the CMBA
The nonprofit Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association operates as a center for legal professionalism in the region, promoting the highest ethical and professional standards. The CMBA strives to be an indispensable resource for its 5,200 members and the go-to organization on issues of law and justice in Northeast Ohio. Learn more at www.clemetrobar.org.