Federal Courts Update

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For more federal court specific content, please see the Federal Court Committee’s Quarterly Newsletter here. The Federal Court Committee’s full Fourth Quarter 2021 Newsletter includes an interview with Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Donahue (C.D. Cal.); a summary of the Committee’s recent comments on proposed rule changes; and a summary of the recent four-District webinar featuring: U.S. District Court Judges Anthony J. Battaglia (S.D. Cal.), Beth L. Freeman (N.D. Cal.), Philip S. Gutierrez (C.D. Cal.), and Kimberly J. Mueller (E.D. Cal).

Central District of California

COVID-19 Update: The Court issued a new General Order requiring all employees, volunteers, and contractors of the Court to be vaccinated, with exemptions for documented medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs, and testing for those who satisfy the exemption requirements. This does not apply to visitors, although COVID screening remains in place.  (Order)

Southern District of California

COVID-19 Update: The Southern District of California has resumed normal operations.  Previous limitations on the scope of jury trials were lifted on July 6, 2021. (See CJO 36-C) Most proceedings typically can proceed by telephone or videoconference. (See, e.g., id.CJO 63-E). Face coverings are required for visitors who are not fully vaccinated. (See CJO 59-A.)

Civility and Professionalism Award: Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra F. Foster was honored as the 2021 recipient of the Hon. David H. Bartick Award for Civility and Professionalism.

Northern District of California

COVID-19 Update: All visitors to a Northern District courthouse must review the court’s COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire before arriving at the courthouse and, effective July 29, 2021, all jurors, attorneys, court staff, and other courthouse visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks within public or common areas of courthouse property. Additionally, the Northern District is holding “hybrid” in-court criminal proceedings incorporating Zoom, regarding which additional information is available on the Court’s website.

NexGen CM/ECF: On October 25, 2021, the Northern District of California will implement the NextGen CM/ECF system. Action is required by all registered CM/ECF users. For more information, see NextGen CM/ECF Instructions.

Eastern District of California

COVID-19 Update: All federal courthouses in the Eastern District of California remain open to the public (Notice). Face coverings must be worn in public spaces. (Notice.) Criminal and civil jury trials are being held in-person. Judges shall determine whether to hold other proceedings in person or by telephone or videoconference. Civil proceedings are primarily being held by telephone or videoconference.

District Conference: The district is holding its annual district conference virtually again this year on October 19 and 26, 2021. The conference will include the annual reports from the Chief Ninth Circuit Judge, Chief District Judge, Chief Magistrate Judge and agency heads; a plenary session with District Judge Richard Gergel to discuss his book, Unexampled Courage; a bench-bar session; and a plenary session with Dean Erwin Chemerinsky on freedom of speech.

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