“Society’s problems come to us, New York chief judge, Jonathan Lippman said. “We are the emergency room for society.”
Judge Lippman made this statement to The New York Times for an article about state courtrooms becoming increasingly clouded with the casualties of the recession.
NYT: Contract disputes statewide in 2009 are projected to be up 9 per cent from the year before. Statewide home foreclosure filings increased 17 per cent, to 48,127 filings. Cases involving charges like assault by family members were up 18 per cent statewide. While serious crime remains low, misdemeanour charges in New York City were up 7 per cent and lesser violations were up 18 per cent in 2009.
Judges and lawyers say the tales behind any number of cases, including low-level offenses like turnstile jumping and petty theft, are often a barometer of bad times. And they said that the data showed that courts nationally would be working through the recession’s consequences for years, much as they did with the flood of cases stemming from the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, even after the epidemic had slowed.
Read the full article, including similar statistics from Florida and Arizona, here.
This recession has not been as good to litigators as those in the past — usually when the economy is down, litigation practice booms. Maybe that is changing — but, as always, a litigation explosion means a lot of economic pain for a lot of people.
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