Renee Mortimer Participates in Preparation of COVID-19-Related Resource Guide for Indiana Courts

Northwest Indiana (July 31, 2020) - Northwest Indiana Managing Partner Renee J. Mortimer recently served as a Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (DTCI) representative on the committee that prepared a Resource Guide for Indiana courts and practitioners to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guide includes information and recommendations designed to aid Indiana courts in reopening in a manner that is safe for the public, litigants, lawyers, and staff.

After an introduction explaining the purpose of the Indiana Supreme Court’s Resuming Court Operations Task Force and its authority to oversee court operations pursuant to Indiana Administrative Rule 17, the Guide sets forth and expands upon five guiding principles: (1) Uphold Access to Justice, Liberty, and Due Process While Balancing Safety and Health, (2) Protect the Health and Safety of the Public, Justice Partners, Judicial Officers, and Staff, (3) Closely Monitor Public Health Directives and Comply With Applicable Health and Safety Laws, Regulations, and Orders, (4) Address Varying Local Challenges with Flexible Response Plans, and (5) Maximize Flexibility in Crisis Planning to Rescale, Reinvent, Reduce, or Retire Certain Court Services, Calendars, and Programs.

The Guide goes on to address various aspects of court operations and practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, including general considerations of hygiene and personal protective equipment, facilities, jury management, trial proceedings, as well as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and remote proceedings.

To prepare the Guide, DTCI and the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) teamed up with the Resuming Court Operations Task Force to form a joint committee to recommence civil jury trials in Indiana. Ms. Mortimer served as president of DTCI during 2019 and currently serves on the board of the organization.

Ms. Mortimer is a vice-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ General Liability Practice and is a member of its Transportation Practice. She regularly defends clients against large and excess personal injury and property damage claims in state and federal courts in Indiana and Illinois. As a member of Lewis Brisbois’ 24/7 Rapid Response Team, Ms. Mortimer handles matters concerning major trucking accidents, including managing incidents on-scene and trying these cases to verdict in both Illinois and Indiana.

You may access a copy of the Resource Guide here.

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