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MARCH 2021
 
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Court Alerts
Litigation Section Newsletter

Editors:
Brian Hershman
Staci Tomita


Litigation Executive Committee:

Officers:
Douglas N. Silverstein, Chair
Eric Y. Kizirian, Chair Elect
Brian T. Glennon, Vice Chair
Shehnaz M. Bhujwala, Secretary
Monisha A. Coelho, 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

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- click here to view the sponsors page -

 
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Court Alerts
 

LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT UPDATES

Remote Audio Appearance Program (RAAP)

  • Attorneys and members of the public, including news media, are now able to listen remotely to nonconfidential court proceedings. Anyone with a smart phone, tablet, or computer with internet service can establish a remote connection and listen, although the Court will not authorize any recording or broadcast of proceedings via RAAP. This new program is part of the Here For You | Safe For You initiative. (News Release)

Los Angeles Online Dispute Resolution (LA-ODR)

  • Effective February 24, 2021, the Court, in partnership with the LA Department of Consumer and Business Affairs and the Center for Conflict Resolution, launched a free online dispute resolution program for Small Claims litigation. Details can be found here.

Vaccination Access

  • Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor asked the L.A. County Department of Public Health for help reprioritizing vaccinations for Court employees, judicial officers, and justice partner employees. (News Release)

Judicial Updates

  • The Family Law Division implemented changes to courtroom operations which can be found here and here.
  • The Probate Division at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse implemented changes to judicial assignments, which can be found here.

Electronic Recording in Misdemeanor Courtrooms

  • In January 2021, misdemeanor courtrooms transitioned to electronic recording as the official record for all proceedings. (News Release)

COVID-19 Notices

  • Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor issued a General Order extending deadlines for Criminal trials and certain hearings, as well as Juvenile Dependency matters. (News Release)
  • The Court encourages remote appearances for Final Status Conferences in personal injury courtrooms at the Spring Street Courthouse. (News Release)
  • Criminal justice center moves to A.M., P.M. calendars to limit the number of people in the courthouse. (News Release)
  • Please visit the Court’s COVID-19 News and Resource Center for additional COVID-19 related Court news, orders, policies and procedures.

Revised Checklist for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement

  • The LASC Complex Civil Department has revised its Checklist for Motions for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, which can be found here.

Court Holidays

  • March 31, 2021—Cesar Chavez Day

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

Sealed Filings in CM/ECF

  • The Judicial Conference of the United States announced a temporary policy change for certain sealed filings in CM/ECF. Details can be found here.

Relocation of Criminal Duty Courtroom:

  • Effective February 1, 2021, the criminal duty courtroom was temporarily relocated to Courtroom 880 (8th floor) of the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and Courthouse until further notice. (News Release)

Intent to Consider Reappointments

  • Panels have been established to submit recommendations to the Court regarding the reappointments of Magistrate Judge Alka Sagar and Magistrate Judge Douglas F. McCormick – each for an additional eight (8) year term. Magistrate Judge Sagar’s current term expires August 20, 2021, and Magistrate Judge McCormick’s current term expires August 22, 2021. Comments from members of the Bar and public are invited and should be directed to the panel by clicking here. Select “Judge Sagar Reappointment” or “Judge McCormick Reappointment” from the drop-down menu under “Reason for contacting us.” Comments must be received by March 2, 2021.

COVID-19 Notices

  • The Court’s Continuity of Operations Plan (“COOP”) expired on January 29, 2021, and limited operations resumed on February 1, 2021. Details can be found here
  • Please see the Court’s General Orders for additional information regarding access to court facilities, jury trials and other proceedings. 

COURT OF APPEAL UPDATES

Rule Change

  • Rule 8.78 of the California Rules of Court has been amended; now, a party indicates its agreement to accept electronic service by registering with the Court’s electronic filing service provider and providing its electronic service address, unless the party serves and files a notice that it does not accept electronic service and chooses instead to be served paper copies.

Judicial Appointments and Assignments

  • The Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously confirmed Judge Truc T. Do as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One (San Diego). Justice Do is the first female Asian American justice to serve on the Fourth District Court of Appeal. (News Release)
  • The following Judges are sitting Pro-Tem until April 30, 2021:
    • Judge Rita Coyne Federman of the San Luis Obispo Superior Court will be sitting Pro Tem in Division One.
    • Judge Glenn R. Salter of the Orange County Superior Court will be sitting Pro Tem in Division Three.
    • Judge Rashida A. Adams of the Los Angeles Superior Court will be sitting Pro Tem in Division Three.
    • Judge Melissa R. McCormick of the Orange County Superior Court will be sitting Pro Tem in Division Seven.
    • Judge Sam Ohta of the Los Angeles Superior Court will be sitting Pro Tem in Division Eight.
  • Justice Halim Dhanidina will retire from the Court of Appeal on April 1, 2021, leaving a vacancy in Division Three. (News Link)

Judicial Council

  • The Judicial Council approved a plan to distribute $25 million – the remainder of the $50 million included in the 2020 Budget Act – to help courts address delays caused by COVID-19. The Council will allocate the funds based on each court’s workload not disposed of during the pandemic compared to the same period in 2019. (News Release)
  • The Judicial Council sponsored legislation to celebrate California Native American Day as a judicial holiday. (News Release)

Court Holidays

  • March 31, 2021—Cesar Chavez Day
 
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Upcoming Events

Introducing the LASC's New Judicial Mentor Program

Program Date: Friday, March 19, 2021
Time: 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Presented by:  LACBA Litigation Section

The Los Angeles County Bar Association, Litigation Section, is pleased to have Presiding Judge Eric Taylor, Immediate-Past Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile, Judge Helen Zukin, Judge Audra Mori and Judge Kimberly Guillemet present on the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s new Judicial Mentor Program.

The purpose of this new program is to assist in the recruitment and development of a qualified, inclusive and diverse judicial applicant pool. The program is designed to identify, encourage and provide mentors for all individuals considering a judicial career. Attorneys seeking more information about how to participate in the Judicial Mentor Program are encouraged to attend.

For more information and to register, visit here.


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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