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Barbera takes to YouTube, updates lawyers on virus response

Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Justice Mary Ann Barbera

Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Justice Mary Ellen Barbera

Maryland’s top judge took to YouTube on Monday to update the state’s lawyers on the Judiciary’s efforts to keep the court system running as efficiently as possible amid emergency restrictions to combat the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

“We are doing everything we can to carry out our mission during the COVID-19 emergency,” Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera said during the three-minute video.

“This is uncharted territory for all of us,” Barbera added. “Like you, we in the Judiciary have been hard at work to adapt and respond to the limitations forced by this emergency.”

Barbera, the Judiciary’s chief administrator, has ordered that courts be closed to the public and staffed for emergency matters, such as domestic violence petitions, bail reviews, juvenile detention and shelter hearings, and search warrants. Under the order, judges are authorized to use electronic means to conduct legal proceedings when possible.

The chief judge called attorneys the Judiciary’s “partners in justice” as she praised them for their commitment and cooperation during these trying times.

“I am confident that together we will weather the COVID-19 emergency,” Barbera said.

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