The latest attempt to reduce case backlogs in the Bronx will be revealed this morning when Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announces plans at a Citizens Crime Commission forum. Lippman is the key speaker at a breakfast forum at Fordham University School of Law, where he will appear with Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson; Steven Banks, attorney-in-chief, Legal Aid Society; and Marvin Raskin, Bronx County Defense Bar.
For several years, officials experimented with a merged felony and misdemeanor court in the Bronx, but that project was scuttled in October (NYLJ, Oct. 4, 2012) and the merged court was replaced by a Criminal Term of Supreme Court for felonies and a Criminal Court for misdemeanorsthe arrangement used in the city's other four boroughs and in the Bronx before the merger. When the merger experiment ended, 70 percent of felonies were more than six months old, the benchmark used by the courts to evaluate performance.
At Fordham, Lippman will unveil "a comprehensive criminal justice program to be implemented in Bronx County Supreme Court to address and eliminate case backlogs" as well as "case management practice measures to be instituted statewide," according to the Office of Court Administration. Officials declined to discuss details in advance.