Month: December 2011

Another 'Oops' Sealed File Disclosure–This Time by a Judge

Just as the San Francisco Police Department has reportedly announced it’s opening an internal affairs investigation based on a consultant’s statements in a file inadvertently leaked by a lawyer to a newspaper, a federal judge in San Jose, Lucy Koh, has released an unintentionally under-redacted file in the nation’s highest-profile patent lawsuit, reports blogger Christopher Danzig for Above the Law. And what was disclosed was information that was no trade secret at all. But that’s hardly surprising, since in this judge’s handling of this case, reports Reuters, accepting sealed files is all but routine, even encouraged: Koh and U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal, who oversees certain procedural motions in the case, are newcomers to the federal bench and were both previously intellectual property lawyers representing companies at large law firms. They have not only granted many of Apple and Samsung’s sealing motions, in some cases, they’ve gone a step further. During an October hearing on the proposed injunction, Koh, unprompted, asked Apple and Samsung if they wanted to seal the courtroom. When the lawyers said such a step wouldn’t be necessary and that they would not mention confidential material during the hearing, Koh commented, “I guess if you all can be careful not to disclose anything that requires sealing, then we can still have that with the open public.” In contrast, California’s Rule of Court 2.550 states in sections...

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Lawyer Defends Protest Access, Courtroom Closure

Sacramento’s got (legal) talent. Attorney Linda Parisi argued to extend and to limit First Amendment rights in criminal cases one floor apart in the courthouse last Friday, reports Andy Furillo for the Sacramento Bee. In one case she joined other lawyers in defending Occupy protesters arrested for breaking curfew near city hall in downtown’s Chavez Plaza; in the other she argued to exclude the press and public from pretrial hearings in the belated prosecution of a notorious 30-year-old murder. The latter argument didn’t persuade the judge; the former is still before the other...

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Governor's Office: Transparency Site Shutdown Saved $

Governor Jerry Brown’s recent decision to shut down the Reporting Transparency in Government website created by his predecessor will save the state more than $25,000, his office has informed CalAware, and the site only got an average of 4,100 hits per month. But how did the decision come about? None of your business, we’re told: This letter responds to your recent Public Records Act request,  Specifically, you requested records related to “the decision to end posting on the transparency website, including but not limited to a specific analysis of the cost savings thereby accomplished. . . We are not providing information exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act.  Specifically, we are not providing attorney work product and attorney-client privileged communications. . . Additionally, we will not produce correspondence because those records are exempt from disclosure. . . And we will not produce information that reveals the deliberative process of governmental decision-makers . . . ERIN V. PETH Deouty Legal Affairs Secretary...

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City May Drop All Copy Fees after Letter from CalAware

CalAware General Counsel Terry Francke says the city manager of Redlands is commendable in proposing that the city council drop all charges for copies of city records. Coincidentally, a spokesman for the city attorney says, the proposal came just as a lawyer for CalAware asked to see records showing how the city’s 40 cents per page fee was...

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LA Council Faces Vote on End to Corporate Speech Rights

Should money be equated with speech, and speech protection extended to corporations the same as real people? These questions are to be mooted today (December 6) when the Los Angeles City Council votes on a resolution supporting a constitutional amendment to answer them in the negative, reports Sam Favate in the Wall Street...

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