A Capehart Scatchard Blog

New Jersey Workers’ Comp Courts Set for Limited Reopening April 6th

By on March 31, 2020 in Other with 0 Comments

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation court calendars were suspended March 17, 2020 through April 3, 2020.   On Monday, March 30, 2020, the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, Hon. Russell Wojtenko, Jr. advised in a Notice to the Bar that a limited reopening will occur on Monday, April 6, 2020 to permit telephonic case conferences and settlements.

There are 15 vicinages in New Jersey for workers’ compensation hearings. One supervising judge from each district will be available to discuss certain cases telephonically.  The emphasis will be on emergent matters as well as settlements by affidavit, motions for medical and temporary disability benefits and certain pretrial conferences. 

In the March 30 Notice, the Director made clear that there will be no in-person workers’ compensation proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing motions for medical and temporary benefits and trials in which social distancing will be enforced).

The Director’s Notice to the Bar emphasizes that the goal of the Division is to limit the exposure and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus to court personnel, attorneys and their staff, as well as litigants, witnesses and members of the public.  The Notice observes that New Jersey workers’ compensation courts will continue to be closed to the public and to non-essential court personnel until April 13, 2020.

Employers, third party administrators, carriers and all practitioners should understand that time demands on the supervisory judge in each venue will be significant in attempting to cover multiple court lists each day.  Still this Notice is very positive news in that emergent matters and settlements by affidavit can now move forward.

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John H. Geaney

About the Author

About the Author:

John H. Geaney, a shareholder and co-chair of Capehart Scatchard's Workers' Compensation department, began an email newsletter entitled Currents in Workers’ Compensation, ADA and FMLA in 2001 in order to keep clients and readers informed on leading developments in these three areas of law. Since that time he has written over 500 newsletter updates.

Mr. Geaney is the author of Geaney’s New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Manual for Practitioners, Adjusters & Employers. The manual is distributed by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE). He also authored an ADA and FMLA manual as distributed by NJICLE. If you are interested in purchasing the manual, please contact NJICLE at 732-214-8500 or visit their website at www.njicle.com.

Mr. Geaney represents employers in the defense of workers’ compensation, ADA and FMLA matters. He is a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of the American Bar Association and is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a workers’ compensation law attorney. He is one of two firm representatives to the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network. He has served on the Executive Committee of Capehart Scatchard for over ten (10) years.

A graduate of Holy Cross College summa cum laude, Mr. Geaney obtained his law degree from Boston College Law School. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by his peers and Law and Politics. He serves as Vice President of the Friends of MEND, the fundraising arm of a local charitable organization devoted to promoting affordable housing.

Capehart Scatchard is a full service law firm with offices in Mt. Laurel and Trenton, New Jersey. The firm represents employers and businesses in a wide variety of areas, including workers’ compensation, civil litigation, labor, environmental, business, estates and governmental affairs.

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