As ways to deal with criminal proceedings during COVID-19 restrictions play out nationwide, New Jersey’s chief federal judge has issued an order providing for various types of proceedings to be conducted by video or even phone conference, a measure that one practitioner says “strikes a reasonable balance” between constitutional and health concerns.

U.S. Chief Judge Freda Wolfson’s order, dated Monday, cites provisions of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARE Act) passed on March 27, mainly one “authorizing the use of video and telephone conferencing, under certain circumstances and with the consent of the defendant, for various criminal case events during the course of the COVID-19 emergency[.]”

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