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Federal Courts Discuss Smartphone Policies
"The U.S. Judicial Conference, which helps set policy for federal circuit (appeals) and district (trial) courts, has issued a memo, first reported by Wired's "Threat Level" blog, that is meant to help individual courts set policies on when and how smartphones and similar devices can be brought into and used in courthouses and in courtrooms."
From Eric P. Robinson's blog post for the Citizen Media Law Project, "Federal Courts Discuss Smartphone Policies"
The memo does not recommend that district courts adopt any particular policy, but lists several factors that courts should consider in formulating a policy, including:
* which devices will fall under the policy (the memo's list includes cell phones, PDAs, earpiece (Bluetooth) devices, laptops, and digital and other types of video cameras or recorders);
* how the policy will apply to and perhaps distinguish amongst the various types of persons entering the courthouse and courtrooms (see this post for a critique of this approach);
* the lack of court security officer resources to implement such a policy;
* the times, locations, or proceedings at which the devices may be used;
* whether the same policy should apply in every division and courthouse of the district or circuit;
* the policy's effect on access to the courts by the public and family and friends of litigants and criminal defendants, as well as the policy's effects on jury service;
* the policy's effect on other tenants and visitors to the building housing the court;
* whether the court should provide training on the risks and benefits of bringing the such devices into the courthouse or courtroom; and
* the effects of the policy on court administration.
|Federal court smart phone memo.pdf||229.47 KB|