As a result of the continuing coronavirus crisis, the R.I. Superior Court issued new protocols on April 21, 2020, for handling motions and hearings at the Business Calendars in Providence County and all outlying counties.

The Business Calendars will now consider all receivership proceedings, pretrial motions, dispositive motions, as well as pretrial and status conferences. These matters will be conducted remotely.

  • For pending motions, which were previously scheduled for hearing on or after March 16, 2020, or which have been filed since March 16, 2020, and not assigned a hearing date, the following conditions apply. If such a motion remains unresolved, any party may request that it be decided on the pleadings or that a hearing be held. If neither party requests a hearing, then the motion will be decided on the pleadings unless the court seeks oral argument.
  • Prior to filing any new motion, a party shall submit to the clerk, by electronic mail, a specific form. If the moving party does not request a hearing, the opposing party may do so by electronic mail. If neither party requests a hearing, then the motion will be decided on the pleadings unless the court seeks an oral argument.
  • All hearings will be held remotely by WebEx® Video conferencing, will be recorded by a court stenographer, and the public will have audio access through YouTube streaming. Once a hearing date is set, attorneys will receive an email invitation to the remote hearing. While WebEx® permits audio-only participation, video participation will be required for any attorney addressing the court. This video call is offered at no cost to the participants. Justice Brian Stern has prepared a 15-minute video on how to use the WebEx® system.
  • As for requesting a conference with one of the justices, a lawyer must first email a specialized form to the justice’s clerk and copy all other counsel. The attorneys will receive a WebEx® conference invitation by electronic mail. In these instances, there is no need for a stenographic record of conferences.

Additional requirements apply. To view the complete court order establishing these protocols and the requisite form for initiating contact with the court, click here.

If you have questions about this court order or any legal matter, please do not hesitate to contact any of the partners at the firm.