Bucks Writs - Summer 2020 - 13

President Judge Wallace H. Bateman was quick
to point out that the Justice Center and the Courts
never really closed. As we all struggled with the
sudden impact of the pandemic, and its effect
on schools, offices and our collective sanity, the
business of the Court of Common Pleas went on.
instrumental in accommodating its rapidly evolving needs.
Video capabilities for arraignments and other proceedings have
increased significantly.

by the parking lot and main entrance. Yes, plastic bags
for placing one's personal items through screening were
purchased (although they have since been phased out). Judge
Bateman offered kudos to the Sheriff's Department and
security personnel ("they didn't hesitate to offer up whatever
was needed"). Concerns of excessive delays getting into the
building due to social distancing failed to materialize.

Judge Bateman continually expressed his appreciation to all of
these individuals, departments and organizations, and did not
want to leave anyone out. It was a true team effort to obtain
and share relevant and emerging information for the purpose
of making the best possible decisions.

The Courts were back in business, and the various common
sense restrictions that remain are continually evaluated. Judge
Bateman's final expression of gratitude was to all of the
attorneys, litigants and staff who are wearing their masks in
the Courtrooms. 

Among those singled out for his dedication to optimizing
communication between the Bench and Bar was Daniel Keane,
President of the Bucks County Bar Association, and Sean
Gresh, Vice President. Dan adds:

Throughout the emergency court closure the
Association stayed in constant contact with the
Bench and Court Administration to ensure the
effective exchange of information. Circumstances
were changing on an almost daily basis and it
was important that our members remained aware
of how to access the courts. It was also important
that our members were ready to return to court in
June and I think the information we were able to
provide helped our members in that transition.
A large part of that communication was via a series of Zoom
meetings wherein Judge Bateman and others shared updates
in real time with members of the Bar. The first such meeting
was limited to 100 participants and was (virtual) standing
room only. As the popularity of these updates was immediately
recognized, future meetings were expanded so that several
hundred interested lawyers could simultaneously listen in.
Judge Bateman acknowledges that in hindsight these sessions
could have begun earlier in the shutdown.
Finally, planning for reopening on June 1 began in earnest.
Pedestrian traffic patterns and entrance protocols were
established and maps prepared. Waiting tents were erected



ISSUE: 2008
ORG/PUB: Bucks Writs


Bucks Writs - Summer 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bucks Writs - Summer 2020

Bucks Writs - Summer 2020 - 1
Bucks Writs - Summer 2020 - 2
Bucks Writs - Summer 2020 - 3
Bucks Writs - Summer 2020 - 4
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