It wouldn’t surprise me if a judicial “strike” was an inteded result of failing to appoint judges

At the very least, the refusal of multiple vicineages to hear civil cases  because of the judicial vacancy crisis is something our governor is quietly pleased with.   As of now, the Superior Courts of two counties (Union and Essex) are not hearing any civil matters.  According to Union County Bar Association President Janet Pisansky, this judicial “strike”:

is going to be a big hardship.  To explain [this] to all the litigants … is going to be a difficult thing. It perplexes them why there aren’t judges who can handle their cases.

But let’s get something straight:  it’s going to be hardest on the attorneys that use civil lawsuits to vindicate the rights of injured and aggrieved  individuals.   These attorneys rarely get paid up front for their work.  They only get paid when a case resolves in their favor, whether by settlement or verdict.   Making money from one’s cases is not just about being compensated for the work – or making the attorney rich: it’s also about being able to fund the next case.  Unlike the institutions that are often responsible for harming people, everyday people that are injured can’t typically afford to pay to take depositions or hire experts to prove their case.  They can’t afford to constantly take off work, either.  Unfortunately, the financial and time costs associated with a lawsuit are just as taxing on Plaintiff’s counsel.  If cases don’t settle or go to trial, the firms that bring cases on behalf of the injured will lack the cash flow to front the money for attorney hours, litigation expenses, and expert fees.

Mindful of this reality, Defendants – especially institutional defendants (like governments and big business) or defendants represented by insurance companies – will often wait until the eve of trial to engage in meaningful settlement negotiations.  For them, its about holding onto their money for as long as they can, staring down (and hopefully starving out) plaintiff’s counsel, and only voluntarily accept responsibility for their wrongdoing when there is areal risk somebody will impose it upon them anyway.  If you take away that risk, many cases will not settle.

That means the attorneys that represent the injured will not get paid for their work, depriving them of the capital needed to fund their cases.  Attorneys that take on institutional defendants will have no choice but to file less cases  or find a different line of business.  That means that justice will be placed out of reach for more people.  In the big picture, that’s pretty good news for big government and big business.

Union Co. Freezes Civil Trials in Summer Due to Judge Shortage.

125 North Route 73
West Berlin, NJ 08091
Phone: 856-988-7777
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