Written by Brendan Gilmartin, Legal Intern at Sivin, Miller & Roche, LLP
The ongoing global pandemic and social distancing guidelines have caused trials to be adjourned across the entire United States, but especially so in New York, a state hit hard by the pandemic early in 2020. While the need to abide by social distancing guidelines to save lives and reduce strain on vital healthcare resources is of utmost importance, delaying trials can pose special difficulties for plaintiffs-side trial lawyers who are often reliant on witness memories from many years prior. Nonetheless, the legal team at Sivin, Miller & Roche, LLP has been doing everything possible to balance societal safety with ensuring that their clients’ causes are heard in court as speedily and efficiently as possible.
In line with this aim, the team at Sivin, Miller & Roche, LLP successfully pushed forward and achieved success in the first federal jury trial to be held in the Northern District of New York since the pandemic began. Although defense counsel attempted to delay the August 2020 trial with various pre-trial filings, Sivin, Miller & Roche, LLP successfully argued to the judge that their client’s case deserved to be heard by a jury without further delay. During the trial—and despite being separated by plexiglass from witnesses and jurors, having limited mobility around the courtroom, and the requirement that everyone present in the courtroom wear masks—partner David Roche and associate Andrew Weiss flexibly adapted to the situation and obtained a $240,000 verdict for the malicious and unjustified beatdown their client suffered at the hands of a corrections officer while incarcerated by New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
The favorable outcome Sivin, Miller & Roche, LLP obtained for their client in this trial exemplifies how the firm has adapted to the burdens imposed by the global pandemic to remain effective advocates for their clients. Indeed, attorneys from Sivin, Miller & Roche, LLP have likewise conducted two Court of Claims trials remotely from correctional facilities during the pandemic, and continue to press defense counsel in many other cases to move forward through the various stages of litigation. In spite of the turbulent and unpredictable times, the team at Sivin, Miller & Roche, LLP continues to work diligently to ensure that cases keep moving forward, and that justice is achieved for their clients.