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SDNY Judge Engelmayer Orders Video For Only One Counsel Per Side Press Access A Work in Progress

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 15 –   As the Federal courts have moved amid Coronavirus from telephone to video conferences, Inner City Press has asked for Press and public access by video. At first it was told generally this was not possible, then more helpfully by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that its CourtCall system could only accomodate four lines.

   Now SDNY Judge Paul A. Engelmayer in a docket entry has gotten more specific:

"ORDER as to Jaime Gonzalez. The conference scheduled for May 18, 2020 at 9:00 a.m., is to occur as a video/teleconference using the CourtCall. As requested, defense counsel will be given an opportunity to speak with the Defendant by telephone for fifteen minutes before the sentencing proceeding begins; defense counsel should make sure to answer the telephone number that was previously provided to Chambers at that time. To optimize the quality of the video feed, the Court, the Defendant, and defense counsel will appear by video for the proceeding; all others will participate by telephone. Due to the limited capacity of the CourtCall system, only one counsel per party may participate. Co-counsel, members of the press, and the public may access the audio feed of the conference by calling 855-268-7844....

In advance of the conference, Chambers will email the parties with further information on how to access the conference. Those participating by video will be provided a link to be pasted into their browser. The link is non-transferrable and can be used by only one person."

     This is clearer than other notices, which provide the link. While the courts' technnology should improve, in the interim the key is clarity, including not to push the Press toward self-censorship and withholding information from the public. Watch this site, and @SDNYLIVE. This case is US v. Ruiz, 16-cr-00826 (Engelmayer).


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