California Lawyers Association

Committee on Federal Courts

Central District of California Covid-19 Update: All divisions of the Central District of California resumed normal operations on June 15, 2021. Hearings by video or telephonic conference may continue to be held in civil matters at the discretion of the assigned judge. Persons entering the courthouses must follow the CDC’s most recent guidance regarding face coverings or masks, though individual district judges have discretion to require the wearing of masks in their courtrooms. (See Gen. Order 21-08.) Southern District of California… Read more
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the existence of a statutory claim (with statutory damages) combined with a risk of future harm, is not enough to confer standing to sue for damages in federal court. Citing Spokeo v. Robbins, 578 U. S. 330, the Court held that “[t]o have Article III standing to sue in federal court, plaintiffs must demonstrate, among other things, that they suffered a concrete harm.” Read more
Judge Dana Makoto Sabraw was appointed to the Southern District of California by President George W. Bush in 2003 and became Chief Judge in January of 2021. Read more
Pedro V. Castillo was appointed a Magistrate Judge by the United States District Court for the Central District of California in January 2021 Read more
June 2021 Central District of California Covid-19 Update: The court is currently in Phase 3 of its Plan for Phased Resumption of Operations (“Reopening Plan”). All courthouses in the Central District are open to persons with court business and subject to all posted restrictions. In-court hearings will be permitted in all matters at the discretion of the assigned judge. Some hearings may continue to be held by video or telephonic conference. Jury trials are permitted in civil and criminal cases.… Read more
May 2021 Central District of California Covid-19 Update: The court has entered Phase 3 of its Plan for Phased Resumption of Operations (“Reopening Plan”), permitting jury trials to resume. Effective April 19, 2021, all courthouses in the Central District will remain open to persons with court business and subject to all posted restrictions. In -court hearings will be permitted in all matters at the discretion of the assigned judge. Some hearings may continue to be held by video or telephonic… Read more
On March 25, the Federal Courts Committee of the California Lawyers Association and the Federal Bar Association’s Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire, and Northern District of California chapters hosted a webinar about Covid-19’s impact on federal court operations.  The webinar featured four distinguished panelists representing all four federal districts in the state: U.S. District Court Judges Anthony J. Battaglia (S.D. Cal.), Philip S. Gutierrez (C.D. Cal.), John A. Mendez (E.D. Cal.), and William H.… Read more
1.         What are the key functions of a federal magistrate judge? Magistrate judges in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California are authorized to perform the full range of duties provided for magistrate judges under Title 28 U.S.C § 636. The court encourages civil litigants to consent to the jurisdiction of magistrate judges for all purposes up to and including bench or jury trial and final judgment, with any appeal directly to the Ninth Circuit Court… Read more
California’s winter lockdown is easing, and California’s federal courts are again reopening.  Practitioners and judges wondering about the future can look to the Southern District of California for guidance on potential next steps.  The Southern District designed a Covid-19 safety protocol that allowed the District to safely hold many in-person jury trials during a three-month period in 2020 and to again resume safe in-person jury trials on March 8, 2021. We sat down with Judge Anthony J. Battaglia—who led the… Read more
April 2021 Central District of California Covid Updates Covid-19 Update: Effective March 22, 2021, all Courthouses of the Central District of California are open to persons with court business and subject to all posted restrictions. Hearings in emergency civil matters and criminal matters may proceed in court at the discretion of the assigned judge. Hearings in other matters will continue to proceed by video and telephonic conference.  There are still no civil or criminal jury trials, but the Court has… Read more

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