Pandemic Deepens Court Judicial Vacancies, Staffing Emergencies

December 2, 2021

The Barometer
By Alaina Lancaster

As courts await relief through traditional channels, the additional pressure to fill vacancies and chip away at case backlogs could spark new mechanisms for administrative efficiency in courts.

The Shift: Pandemic Deepens Court Judicial Vacancies, Staffing Emergencies

Pandemic-induced case backlogs have aggravated longtime judicial vacancy and court staffing crises, spurring renewed calls to address court personnel shortages.

In one courthouse, judicial vacancies have caused unassigned civil cases to be stayed, pending the confirmation of an additional judge. In other jurisdictions, court leaders have responded with cautious optimism as lawmakers promise to put forth urgent appointments.


On the federal level, two judicial nominations to the District of New Jersey—solo practitioner Evelyn Padin and Georgette Castner, a partner at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads—have been heralded as helping to ease the strain of the court’s double-digit vacancies.


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