Judge Keefe & Judge O’Brien Conducting Mediations Remotely During COVID-19 Crisis

It is very likely that Governor Murphy’s Executive Order will remain in effect for a significant period of time. We have been speaking to plaintiff and defense attorneys over the past few weeks in anticipation of what has now occurred. The attorneys and we understand that business has to continue as best it can in order to feed our families, pay the rent, pay employees, etc. We are all in this together.

We are prepared to conduct the mediation remotely on the date scheduled if you have a matter, or for any new matter that you wish to schedule. Due to the uncertainty of the situation regarding when the Courts will be up and running at full capacity, we stand ready to assist everyone in resolving their disputes in a safe, secure manner. In order to accomplish that, we will be using Zoom video conferencing through an account that has already been established. Many of you may be familiar with this program. If not, we suggest that you visit the Zoom.US website to understand more about it. In short, Zoom allows the moderator to have an opening meeting to say “hello” and discuss matters of common interest, and then place attorneys and clients in separate breakout rooms where attorneys can speak privately with their clients to maintain privacy and confidentiality, just as we would do if you were in our office. You will need a computer that has a camera and microphone, or a smart phone. A good Wi-Fi signal is also necessary. The advantage of conferencing through Zoom is that the mediator can move from breakout room to breakout room efficiently, rather than call one attorney, hang up the phone, then call the other attorney, etc. If, however, you prefer to conduct the mediation by telephone only, we can make arrangements for that as well through our telephone conferencing system.

If you have any questions about these procedures, we are readily available to answer them. Our email addresses are judgekeefe@keefe-lawfirm.com; judgeobrien@keefe-lawfirm.com. We may also be reached by telephone. 732-224-9400, ext. 218 for Judge Keefe and ext. 250 for Judge O’Brien. Please remember the extension number to make sure the message is transferred directly to the appropriate judge if we cannot answer when you call.

Best wishes to you and your families. Stay well and be safe.