Court stenographer walks Senate floor to document government shutdown; federal courts open for time being, DOJ encourages stays

2013093095211045Watching coverage of Congressional proceedings of the government shutdown, Huseby was intrigued by the wireless mobile court reporter walking from speaker to speaker.

The machine harness allowed the court reporter to transcribe standing up while also moving around the entire chamber so that he could be directly next to the person speaking.

We’re curious to know if any of our readers and/or colleagues out there have done this themselves. Let us know. We’d love to hear how it worked for you.

Federal courts open for now
Speaking of the government shutdown, most of us are aware by now that federal courts have remained open. That could change if the shutdown continues, though.

A statement from the administrative office of the U.S. Courts says:

“Following a government shutdown on Oct. 1, 2013, the federal judiciary will remain open for business for approximately 10 business days. On or around October 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance. All proceedings and deadlines remain in effect as scheduled, unless otherwise advised. Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) will remain in operation for the electronic filing of documents with courts.”

The Supreme Court’s website had a similar message.

“The Court will continue to conduct its normal operations through Oct. 11. The Court building will be open to the public during its usual hours, and the Court will hear the scheduled oral arguments.  A further update will be provided in the event the lapse of appropriations continues beyond Oct. 11.
 
“In the event of a lapse of appropriations, the Court will continue to conduct its normal operations through Oct. 4. The Court building will be open to the public during its usual hours. Further notice will be provided in the event a lapse of appropriations continues beyond Oct. 4.”

Civil cases
At the same time, the Department of Justice is encouraging judges to stay civil cases, according to the Blog of Legal Times.

Lacking funding, DOJ lawyers are generally prohibited from working, even on a voluntary basis, save for the limited circumstances of “emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,” the blog reported.

“This is creating difficulties for the Department to perform the functions necessary to support its litigation efforts and, accordingly, the Department’s policy is to seek a stay in all pending civil litigation,” DOJ lawyers in one prominent antitrust case wrote.

Read more.

 

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