Via the NYT:
New York State’s courts are closing the year with 4.7 million cases — the highest tally ever — and new statistics suggest that courtrooms are now seeing the delayed result of the country’s economic collapse.
And the increase in New York offers a preview of the recession-related cases showing up in courts across the nation.
New York’s judges are wading into these types of cases by the tens of thousands, according to the new statistics, cases involving not only bad debts and soured deals, but also filings that are indirect but still jarring measures of economic stresses, like charges of violence in families torn apart by lost jobs and homes in jeopardy.
Contract disputes statewide in 2009 are projected to be up 9 percent from the year before. Statewide home foreclosure filings increased 17 percent, to 48,127 filings. Cases involving charges like assault by family members were up 18 percent statewide.
This is not an isolated phenomenon:
Florida officials say there were some 400,000 foreclosure filings there this year, an increase of 446 percent since 2006. In Arizona, officials say eviction cases have tripled in the last year, contract disputes are up 77 percent over the last two years, and there is a notable increase in cases seeking to commit people for mental health treatment because of stress-related conditions.
Further evidence that my decision to go to law school all those years ago was a good one! On a serious note, although many lawyers have lost their jobs following the financial crisis - particularly at firms doing finance work - law is still one of the smartest choices for students.