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JULY 2021
 
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Court Alerts
Litigation Section Newsletter

Editors:
Brian Hershman
Staci Tomita


Litigation Executive Committee:

Officers:
Eric Y. Kizirian, Chair
Brian T. Glennon, Chair Elect
Shehnaz M. Bhujwala, Vice Chair
Mike Madokoro, Secretary
Douglas N. Silverstein, Immediate Past Chair

 
 
 

Thank You to Our Annual Sponsors

Thank you to our annual litigation section sponsors for their generous support of the LACBA Litigation Section.

- Berkeley Research Group
- Case Anywhere
- Coalition Court Reporters
- First Legal
- Freeman & Mills
- ILYM Group, Inc.
- JAMS
- STENO
- TM Financial Forensics

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- Click here to view the sponsors page -

 
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Court Alerts
 

LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT UPDATES

Jury Trial Measures

  • Presiding Judge Taylor announced that judges may (1) conduct jury selection in larger courtrooms, when available; and (2) allow jurors to sit throughout the courtroom rather than only in the jury box. As a result, jury selection may not be in the same courtroom as the courtroom where the trial will be held. The assigned trial judge will not change. Judges may consider use of the entire courtroom to allow jurors to sit at a comfortable distance from one another, whenever possible. Therefore, not all jurors should expect to be seated in the jury box. Prior to the start of trial, counsel should confer with their trial judge as to logistics. (News Release).

Assignments

  • Judge David Cunningham III has taken over from Judge Ann Jones as Assistant Supervising Judge for the Court’s Complex Civil Litigation Program. Judge Kristin Escalante has moved to Department 24 at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse and Judge Thomas Long has moved to Department A in Compton. You can reference a list of assignments here.

Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor Rescinds Certain Social Distancing Requirements (News Release)

  • Scheduling Appointments:
    • Los Angeles County courthouses are open without public access restrictions, eliminating the need for advance appointments for service and in-person courtroom seating. Presiding Judge Taylor, however, recommended that the public seeking services from the Clerk’s Office, court support services, and/or the Self-Help Centers continue to schedule appointments in advance to reduce lines. Presiding Judge Taylor confirmed the remote access tools through LACourtConnect would “remain a staple” in the Court’s future.
  • Masks:
    • Presiding Judge Taylor ordered that all persons, regardless of vaccination status, must wear face masks unless they have a court order. Individuals who refuse to wear a mask without exemption will be denied entry. Individuals who remove their masks once inside the courthouse will be reminded to wear them.
  • The Court is no longer offering its Remote Audio Attendance Program (RAAP) to listen remotely to courtroom proceedings.

Resolve Law LA Virtual Mandatory Settlement Conference Program

  • Presiding Judge Taylor announced the launch of the Resolve Law LA Virtual Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) Program. The program is a result of a collaboration between the Court and numerous Los Angeles County area bar associations. The free virtual program leverages qualified volunteer lawyers to resolve cases pending in the Personal Injury (PI) Hub Courts before they proceed to trial. Judges can require counsel for appropriate trial PI cases to register for the program. Appropriate cases will be ordered into the program at the Final Status Conference. (News Release)

Family Law Division Changes at Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • The Family Law Division implemented the following changes to courtroom operations at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse: (News Release)
    • Judge David W. Swift is reassigned to Department 59 and will preside over cases previously assigned to that Department.
    • Commissioner Doreen B. Boxer is reassigned to Department 25 and will preside over cases previously assigned to that Department.
    • All matters currently calendared in either department will remain scheduled on the dates and times previously set, unless otherwise notified.

Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center Courtrooms

  • All courtrooms at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center (CJC) are operating from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except court holidays. The A.M., P.M. calendars implemented during the pandemic have been eliminated. Appointments are not required for in-person service at the Clerk’s Office, but they are strongly encouraged. (Notice)

Extension of Deadlines for Criminal Trials and Juvenile Dependency

  • Presiding Judge Taylor extended deadlines for certain Criminal trials and Juvenile Dependency matters. (News Release)

LACourtConnect (LACC) New Reduced-Price Video Platform

  • Presiding Judge Taylor announced a reduction in cost-recovery fees for video remote appearances via LACourtConnect (LACC).
    • Cost-recovery fee for LACC video appearances are $15, in line with the $15 cost recovery fee for audio appearances.
    • LACC continues to provide free services to litigants with fee waivers.
    • The Court recently transitioned 250 LACC-equipped courtrooms to the Microsoft Teams platform for improved remote video and audio appearances in Civil, Family Law, Probate, Small Claims, and some Traffic matters.
    • Video appearances for Traffic arraignments are offered in addition to the current option of audio appearances.

COVID-19 News and Resource Center


U.S.D.C. CENTRAL DISTRICT COURT UPDATES

Annual Bar Membership Renewal Fee

  • The annual renewal fee of $25 is due on September 1, 2021 for all attorneys admitted to the Court’s Bar before September 1 of the prior year. Attorneys who do not pay may be removed from the rolls of the Court’s Bar and must reapply for membership along with payment of the full fee. Payment must be made through the Court’s website, here. (Notice)

CARES Act Extension

  • The Court has extended the CARES Act through August 15, 2021. Video hearings or telephonic conference may continue in certain criminal matters, unless findings and authorizations in the Orders are subsequently terminated. In the Western Division, criminal duty matters will be held in Courtroom 880 at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and Courthouse until August 13, 2021. Effective August 16, 2021, criminal duty matters will be in person in Courtroom 10C of the First Street Courthouse until further notice. The Southern and Eastern division criminal duty matters will be held in the duty magistrate’s courtroom. (Notice)

Reappointment of United States Magistrate Judges

  • United States Magistrate Judge Douglas F. McCormick has been reappointed as a full-time Magistrate Judge for a term of eight years commencing on August 23, 2021. His official duty station will continue to be Santa Ana, California. (Notice)
  • United States Magistrate Judge Alka Sagar has also been reappointed as a full-time Magistrate Judge for a term of eight years beginning on August 21, 2021. Her official duty station will continue to be Los Angeles, California. (Notice)

Normal Operations

  • Normal Operations have resumed but all individuals must abide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent guidance on face coverings or masks when seeking entry into the courthouse, hearings, or jury trials. (Notice)

Public Notice of Intent to Consider Reappointments

  • Notice has been given to the public that panels of citizens have been established to submit recommendations to the Court regarding the matters of reappointments for:

COVID-19 Guidance


COURT OF APPEAL UPDATES

Court Open To Public by Appointment Only

  • The Clerk’s Office is now open to the public by appointment only. You can schedule an appointment on the Online Booking Portal. When visiting the court, a face mask is required at all times, regardless of vaccination status, unless you have been granted an Americans with Disabilities accommodation approved by the court or have a documented medical reason. Appointments with a clerk are limited to 30 minutes. Appointments with a Justice Partner are limited to two hours. Appointments for file reviewing or copying are limited to two hours and require a reservation.

Judicial Appointments and Assignments

  • The following Judges are sitting Pro-Tem:
    • Judge Charles S. Crandall of the San Luis Obispo Superior Court will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division One until August 31, 2021.
    • Judge Upinder S. Kalra of the Los Angeles Superior Court will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until July 23, 2021.
    • Judge Brian E. Hill of the Santa Barbara Superior Court will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until September 30, 2021.
    • Judge Holly A. Thomas of the Los Angeles Superior Court will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until July 31, 2021.
    • Judge Audra Ibarra of the Santa Clara Superior Court will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Seven until August 31, 2021.
    • Judge Sam Ohta of the Los Angeles Superior Court will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Eight until August 31, 2021.
 

About Court Alerts

The Litigation Section of LACBA is proud to provide "Court Alerts," an e-mail publication aimed at informing LACBA Litigation Section members of recent news related to the Los Angeles Superior Court and the U.S. Central District of California, including re-assignments of judges, changes in court structure, and other information important to litigators.


Readers are advised that changes in the law may affect the accuracy of this publication or the functionality of links after the publication date. The foregoing practice tips were prepared for information purposes only. Such practice tips do not constitute tax, legal or other advice and no responsibility is assumed for any reliance upon them or with respect to assessing or advising the reader as to tax, legal, or other consequences arising from a particular situation. The accuracy of the information provided should be independently verified by the reader and should not be treated as authoritative.


 

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