The actual press release says “Judicial Conference Revises Policy to Expand Remote Audio Access Over Its Pre-COVID Policy” and the AO states that “[t]he revised policy, adopted at the Conference’s biennial meeting, will permit judges presiding over civil and bankruptcy cases to provide the public live audio access to non-trial proceedings that do not involve witness testimony.” What is actually does, however, is the opposite – it replaces the existing rule which permitted remote access with a new rule that eliminates it in most (perhaps all) cases.
Prior to COVID, remote access to proceedings was not permitted. During COVID, it was permitted for both trials and hearings. This gave birth to the remote access that we’ve grown to know and love for Judge Albright’s court, where you could listen in (along with dozens of law students from Baylor, UT or both) to claim construction hearings, pretrial hearings, and even trials. You could even dial up and watch hearings (not trials) to watch and learn. Or if you had trouble getting started on an afternoon nap – claim construction was there for you.
The Conference adopted the revised policy on the recommendation of its Committee on Court Administration and Case Management (CACM), with the endorsement of the Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System and the Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System. https://www.uscourts.gov/news/2023/09/12/judicial-conference-revises-policy-expand-remote-audio-access-over-its-pre-covid It is continuing to study related issues, including “whether remote public access to proceedings involving witness testimony could increase the potential for witness intimidation or complicate witness sequestration” so there are some legitimate issues to be considered here long term. But the important thing is that in the short term courts are having to rethink whether any proceedings can be opened to the public online.
Specifically, I noted that the new policy purports to “provide the public live audio access to non-trial proceedings that do not involve witness testimony.” But I understand whether the actual policy – as opposed to the press release – may effectively do this. So we’ll be watching to see if there are some types of proceedings which will remain open to the public.
This doesn’t affect party access – trial teams can still get a link, as we had for a hearing this afternoon (although the “Judge Albright – Criminal Proceedings” header did cause a little apprehension since we didn’t “think” we’d done anything justifying the change). But the public will have to find something more interesting to watch than Markman hearings now. Star Trek: Lower Decks anyone?
Yesterday I posted on a WDTX order dismissing a patent case brought by the Ramey firm on September 21 with prejudice for failure to respond as ordered by the court after an initial dismissal. This is a completely different order – it is a WDTX order dismissing a patent case on brought by the Ramey firm on September 22 with prejudice for failure to respond as ordered by the court after an initial dismissal.
One of my favorite things about modelbuilding is the opportunity it gives me to thoroughly research a topic. Last night I was studying the above recently discovered photo of the U.S. carrier U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2) shortly before the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942 which helps nail down once and for all the burning question of whether she had removed the second boat boom aft on the port side for a May 1942 model I’m building (it’ll be my fourth of the same ship at the same battle because I gotta be me). Similarly, with the Waco patent docket thrown to the winds, almost every substantive order now is from a different judge – here the WDTX’ new chief judge Alia Moses, granting a motion for judgment on the pleadings for lack of patentable subject matter, which provides significant insights far beyond the bare language of the order.
Judge Albright denied defendant Google’s motion to transfer. He initially found “many discrepancies and vague assertions that appear to be unreliable” in Google’s venue declaration, after which he held an in-person hearing to have the declarants testify. The court concluded that “based on that in person assessment of credibility, the court found the witnesses to be unreliable” for reasons specified in the opinion.
I used this Gerry Spence saying a few years ago when arguing before EDTX Judge Trey Schroeder in Texarkana that a plaintiff’s maintaining an argument that venue was proper after the facts had disclosed otherwise was sanctionable. Sounds like Judge Albright might have been thinking the same thing.
Slightly weird facts here regarding where the relevant documents were. The plaintiff’s documents were in Waco, but had been moved there recently from California. The defendant was seeking a transfer to Austin, but didn’t identify any evidence, electronic or physical, there.
Judge Albright granted the motion ordering the defendant’s noninfringement expert to answer the plaintiff’s questions regarding his compensation, overruling his claim of “company confidentiality.” However redactions in the order mean that the exact contours of the issue and the ruling may not be clear.