In a federal courtroom, a witness, who only speaks Foochow, provides testimony in a case where no one in the room speaks that language. In a preliminary hearing, a Spanish-speaking defendant responds to questions from the judge. In both instances, an interpreter bridging the language gap for the participants is miles away at the other end of a telephone.
The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Bankruptcy and Civil Rules have proposed amendments to their respective rules and forms, and requested that the proposals be circulated to the bench, bar, and public for comment. The public comment period ends February 15, 2014.
The hourly pay rates for lawyers who represent indigent defendants in federal criminal cases, which were temporarily reduced last year, have been restored, effective March 1, 2014. In an emergency move last August, the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States reduced the rates for court-appointed panel attorneys by $15 an hour. The Committee described the step as "undesirable," but "necessary to avoid permanent damage to the federal defender program."
A federal judge from the Northern District of Ohio held a recent naturalization ceremony at a Cleveland history museum, and in the process created a memorable event for two groups.
The Court has adopted technical modifications to Local Civil Rule 23.1(c) regarding Class Action Determination and Appendix J regarding the Court's Pro Bono Civil Case Protocol.