The past 22 months have brought great upheaval to our national and state economies, our personal and professional lives and, of course, the operations of the New York State Unified Court System—one of the largest, busiest and most complex court systems in the world, with over 3,000 state and local judges and 15,000 nonjudicial staff handling close to three million new case filings each year in 300-plus court locations across the state.

At the outset of the pandemic, our court system was compelled to reinvent itself nearly overnight as we adopted and then mastered the use of virtual technology in order to safely manage our dockets and ensure access to justice in the broadest range of cases. Our judges and staff deserve great credit for this remarkable transformation, and for working to implement extensive and necessary health and safety measures in our courthouses. Our court system was among the first public institutions in the state to adopt mandatory COVID testing and vaccination programs in order to prevent the spread of the virus and assure the public that our courthouses were safe places to appear and conduct business.