From the Multnomah Lawyer: News from the Courthouse May 2020

Presiding Judge’s Report Hon. Stephen Bushong and TCA Barbara Marcille
This morning the discussion focused on the COVID-19 crisis and the court’s response. See the most current Chief Justice Order Imposing Level 3 Restrictions on Court Operations, the court’s Presiding Judge Orders for Civil, Criminal, and Family Law matters, and the court’s most current information sheet, which are all posted on the court’s website in the red Alerts box at the top of the page:

The Presiding Call docket will continue to be held daily for the assignment of new dates after the period of restrictions, and ex parte will be held only in the mornings from 10:30-11 a.m. in Room 208, with most or all attorneys appearing by telephone. Most civil trials will be postponed until after August 1. Judge Bushong made clear that the courts are prepared for emergencies and have restrictions in place to keep things moving as smoothly as possible while protecting the health and welfare of employees and the public. Most hearings that continue to be held are being conducted telephonically. The court is open and available to handle emergency situations, and those matters should be presented to the presiding judge. If you are sick, please do not come to the courthouse. Any employee who is ill is asked to stay home as well. Judge Bushong urged rationality and following the CDC and health department guidelines.

There was a question about potential tours of the new courthouse. Construction is being completed, equipment and furniture installation is continuing, and the planned move and grand opening dates have not changed. The court still intends to open in the new building on July 20, but the evolving COVID-19 situation might affect the opening date. The court hears the legal community’s interest in getting a behind-the-bench look at the new building before operations fully begin, and will keep everyone updated as news is available. Because it is unlikely that we will be able to hold the ribbon-cutting celebration that was previously planned, the court and the county will explore alternative ways to introduce the new building.

Free Lunch and Learn CLE in the Courthouse
The court and the MBA Court Liaison Committee have been planning to offer a CLE seminar about the technology in the new courthouse. The presentation will now be developed for online participation, and content will include information about the courtroom audio visual systems, digital displays throughout the building, interactive public kiosks, and building access controls. Details to follow when a date and format has been established.

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