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UNDER PRESSURE - Courtrooms across the country are being confronted by an array of questions, including whether a surge of COVID-19 cases will renew shutdowns and whether jurors and staff are willing to risk a return. But as Law.com’s Greg Land and Amanda Bronstad reports, one problem is already clear: backlogs of criminal, civil and domestic cases have piled up. Now civil parties are facing even more pressure to settle. Richard Clifton, a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, who serves as president of the Federal Judges Association, said that court backlogs are a big topic for judges and the most frequent comment is that the civil calendar “is just sitting there” because judges are spending all their time dealing with criminal caseloads. Ryan Baker, a litigator and founder of Waymaker law firm, said, “The backlog factor weighs heavily in favor of courts really advocating for private resolution because the reality is litigants are having to bear the cost of extended and protracted litigation.”
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