Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al

Filing 399

Federal Bar Association comment re Civ LR 77-3 (vrwlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/11/2010)

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FEDERAL BAR ASSOCIATION NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA CHAPTER OFFICERS President Judith Anderson Securities and Exchange Commission 44 Montgomery Street, Suite 2600 San Francisco, CA 94104 415/705-2500 AndersonJu@sec.gov Vice President, San Francisco Gregory N. Owen Owen, Wickersham & Erickson, P.C. 455 Market Street, Suite 1910 San Francisco, CA 94105 415/882-3200 gowen@owe.com Vice President, Oakland Valerie Stewart Federal Bureau of Prisons 7338 Shoreline Dr. Stockton, CA 95219 209/956-9733 vlstewart@bop.gov Vice President, San Jose Jason de Bretteville Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 1870 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, California 94303 1-650/461-5600 debrettevillej@sullcrom. com Secretary/Treasurer Timothy K. Roake Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 1881 Page Mill Road Palo Alto, CA 94304 650/849-5382 troake@gibsondunn.com President Elect David H. Fry Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP 560 Mission Street, 27th Floor San Francisco CA 94105 415/512-4000 David.Fry@mto.com Immediate Past President Christopher D. Sullivan McGrane Greenfield LLP One Ferry Building, Suite 220 San Francisco, CA 94111 415/283-1776 csullivan@ mcgranegreenfield.com HONORARY OFFICERS The Hon. Vaughn R. Walker Chief Judge United States District Court Northern District of California 450 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102 415/522-2000 Joseph P. Russoniello, Esq. United States Attorney U.S. Attorney's Office 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 11th Fl. P.O. Box 36055 San Francisco, CA 94102 415/436-7200 Barry J. Portman, Esq. Federal Public Defender 450 Golden Gate Avenue, Rm. 17424 P.O. Box 36105 San Francisco, CA 94102 415/436-7700 January 7, 2010 The Honorable Phyllis Hamilton Chair of the Rules Committee for the Northern District of California United States Courthouse 1301 Clay Street Oakland, CA 94612 The Honorable Vaughn Walker Chief Judge, Northern District of California United States Courthouse 450 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102 Dear Judge Hamilton and Chief Judge Walker: On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Northern District of California Chapter to the Federal Bar Association, I write to express our support for the revision of Local Rule 77-3, effective December 22, 2009. The revisions to Local Rule 77-3 are necessary and appropriate to implement the pilot program allowing, on an experimental basis, the limited use of cameras in federal district courts within the circuit that was approved unanimously by the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit on December 17, 2009. The Judicial Council's action follows a resolution supporting the use of cameras passed by judges and lawyers attending the 2007 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. We share the view that allowing the pilot program to move forward, subject to the sound discretion of the District Judges, will be useful and is important. It will offer a basis to evaluate whether the use of cameras significantly improves public access to court proceedings. Exploring the experimental use of cameras in the courtroom will contribute to better understanding of how federal courts can best ensure that the right to public access is fostered in practical and meaningful ways. Public access to federal court proceedings, with only extremely limited exceptions, is a bedrock principle and firmly established constitutional right. As our society changes and public access to federal courts can be more difficult in light of increased security concerns and numerous other factors, the STEERING COMMITTEE The Hon. Laurel Beeler Stephen Paul Berzon Asim Bhansali Martha Boersch Peter Boutin Elizabeth Brancart Elizabeth J. Cabraser Richard C. Darwin Bruce S. Flushman David Fry David Girard Matthew Jacobs Randall T. Kim Erik Khoobyarian Rory K. Little Otis McGee Kathleen Morris Sharon L. O'Grady Scott Raber Patrick Robbins Joseph P. Russoniello Stephen L. Schirle Christopher Steskal Sanford Svetcov