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SDNY Judge Berman Polls Counsel If CourtCall Should Continue After COVID Pandemic

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 25 – In a two-defendant case charging cellphone account takeover fraud, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Richard M. Berman on June 25 while awaiting a court reporter conducted an informal poll on the impact and future of phone and video conferences in the Federal courts. Inner City Press covered it.  

 Judge Berman said he hopes that even after the COVID-19 pandemic passes, phone and video conferences remain. He said that even some defendants, particularly those in custody, have said they prefer them: being taken to a room in the MCC, rather than hours in holding cells.    

Defense lawyer Dawn Florio, in this case representing Henry Perez but previously covered by Inner City Press in the Tekashi #6ix9ine case, said that telephone conferences are particularly useful when she is on trial in other cases. She says she has a trial resuming in July, "it was covered in the New York Times." 

 Inner City Press published an informal review, from a media perspective, of the era of telephone and CourtCall proceedings, here. In this case, the AUSA tactfully said that he believes other judges, too, are thinking about this.

This case was put off into September. It is US v. Perez, 19-cr-880 (Berman).


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