The New York Law Journal reports that the New York court system may have to cut “hundreds” of non-judicial employees due to a $70 million in budget cuts. These budget cuts come on top of recently announced $100 million of cuts, which include dropping hardworking retiring judges.
These retiring judges often work as judicial hearing officers and serve an important role. In New York Supreme Court, early settlement conferences are held before Judge William Leibovitz. I have appeared before Judge Leibovitz on numerous occasions. These early settlement conferences actually save time and money, as many cases are settled before Judge Leibovitz rather than going straight to trial. It now appears likely that the already overworked judges will have to take over the burden.
Judge Lippman stated that he could not locate where additional layoffs would occur. He said it will depend on where court workers are situated and how crucial employees are to everyday court operations.
Judge Lippman said he remains adamant about keeping open court buildings to everyone, despite the state’s fiscal woes.
I would suggest that the court system should increase the filing fees on cases in the commercial division were the amount in controversy is over $100,000, along with an additional increase in cases over $500,000. In addition, there should be an additional fee on cases deemed complex, which is fair because these cases take an inordinate amount of the courts time.
Many parts also waste an inordinate amount of time conferencing cases during discovery conferences were there are no issues between the parties. Clerks should be given the authority to stamp orders on consent without meeting with the judge or court attorney.
What do you think Judge Lippman should do to cut costs?
The Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson practices civil litigation in New York State. If you have a question regarding civil litigation, call me at the Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson at 212-233-0666.