Bronx court serves up speedy justice with 1-day trials

Clients and lawyers in the Bronx can resolve their civil cases in one day with a speedy trial system designed to ease caseloads.

Bronx litigants can voluntarily opt into the Speedy Trial Program. A six-member jury is selected and hears cases on the same day. Lawyers are only given an hour to present their cases and appeals are not allowed.

Statewide program coordinator Lucindo Suarez says all parties favor the system, which started last summer, because it takes less time and costs less money to administer.

While the fast trials are ideal for cases such as car accidents, it's not always a good fit. "Speed should never overtake justice," Suarez says. "Every case we've had so far, I believe justice has been served."

Officials hope to conduct up to 140 cases between now and next June. Currently, the backlog for the fast trials at the Bronx County Courthouse is more than 6,000 cases.

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