Legal community rises to challenge of pandemic


Dec. 24, 2020
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

2020 has been a year like none other, forcing the local legal community to deal with unprecedented challenges.

When Gov. Baker declared a state of emergency in early March, the courts had to grapple with how to address the burgeoning coronavirus pandemic and protect judges, jurors, attorneys and court employees. Trials were postponed, jury empanelments were put on hold, and non-emergency court appearances were suspended.

At the same time, high-stakes litigation was being filed, including an emergency petition seeking to reduce the number of people incarcerated in jails, prisons and houses of correction to limit outbreaks of COVID-19.

In the midst of the first surge of coronavirus cases, protests roiled the country after the death of yet another Black man at the hands of white police officers. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked widespread demonstrations and led to renewed calls for police and criminal justice reform.

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