Court Rules News - DC Circuit
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It's been a busy and exciting week in the D.C. Circuit, with important decisions in a variety of cases, from conflict mineral disclosure regulations, to copyright trolls' jankety joinder, plus a failed attempt to "fix" the filibuster through the courts.

Ready for a surprisingly exciting D.C. Circuit roundup? Read on:

Benchslapped: Only Common Acronyms Accepted, Counselors

D.C. Circuit judges benchslapped the parties in Illinois Public Telecommunications Association v. FCC with an order to submit briefs that eliminate the uncommon acronyms used in their previously filed final briefs.

The judges directed their attention over to the D.C. Circuit's Handbook of Practices and Internal Procedures and a Notice Regarding Use of Acronyms, which provide as much specific guidance as the order does regarding what's acceptable.

D.C. Fed. Courts May Eliminate Reciprocity Rule

D.C. federal courts plan to formally propose new reciprocity rules that will allow any lawyer in good standing and admitted to practice law in his or her home state to be admitted to practice in our nation's capital.

Currently, the rules only grant admission to lawyers who are admitted in a state that has a federal district which has a reciprocal admission relationship with D.C. attorneys, according to the ABA Journal.

If the new rules are adopted, it means that lawyers planning to practice in the D.C. federal courts won't need to take the bar exam.

Appeal May Decide If D.C.'s Anti-SLAPP Law Applies to Fed Court

An appeal has been filed with the D.C. Circuit that may resolve whether D.C.'s anti-SLAPP statute can be used in federal court.

Yassar Abbas, a son of the Palestinian president, is appealing the D.C. District Court's dismissal of a libel suit he brought against the Foreign Policy Group and a Washington Post writer that was decided by applying D.C.'s anti-SLAPP statute.

Abbas' recently filed opening brief discusses several reasons why the statute was inappropriately used by the D.C. District Court.

5 Electronic Filing Tips For The D.C. District Court

File this under "Things They Don't Teach You In Law School": The nuances pertaining to the electronic case filing (ECF) system in the D.C. District Court.

Sure, it may seem like a no-brainer and you've probably used the ECF system in other jurisdictions, but there are certain exceptions, requirements and ways to handle a computer meltdown that are applicable to the district court.

So, here are five things to remember when e-filing your documents.

3 Must-Know Circuit Rules for New D.C. Appellate Attorneys

As a new attorney, navigating the rules of the D.C. Circuit or any court can be tough.

Making your first court appearance is incredibly scary and it can lead some lawyers to forget simple things, like filing procedures or how to avoid annoying security. Here are three must-know rules to remember before heading to the D.C. Circuit Court.

So whether you are a new attorney, or just new to appellate work in D.C., here are three rules you need to know:

Changes to Law Clerk Hiring by D.C. Circuit Judges Start in 2014

The D.C. Circuit judges have made changes to their law clerk hiring practices for the 2014-2015 term.

In the past, judges were encouraged to hire third-year law student students based on the Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan. However, the plan wasn't a requirement for the judges, and many opted to hire based on their own timelines, so the hiring system was not cohesive amongst all the circuit judges, the D.C. Circuit Court website explains.

Now hiring terms are based solely on a judge's discretion and "exploding offers" are off the table.

What Exactly Is the Secret FISA Court?

As NSA surveillance secrets make a a big splash in the headlines, you may have heard the terms “FISA” and “secret court,” but even as an attorney, don’t know much about them. Here’s a little more history on the most secretive court in America.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) regulates the government’s conduct of intelligence surveillance inside the United States. In essence, it requires the government to obtain a warrant before being able to conduct surveillance on “agents of a foreign power” engaged in espionage or terrorism.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) is the gatekeeper. By ruling yea or nay on warrant applications, it is supposed to ensure sure the government doesn’t abuse its surveillance powers.

Judge Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit was the subject of a judicial misconduct complaint before the D.C. Circuit this past Wednesday, stemming from alleged racially biased statements made by Jones during a speech in February.

Chief Justice Roberts reassigned the complaint from the Fifth Circuit to the D.C. Circuit’s judicial council, which will decide if the complaint warrants investigation, reports The Associated Press.

As the D.C. Circuit prepares to evaluate complaints of Jones’ misconduct, it seems certain that she will have a long way to go before this is over.

D.C. Circuit Doesn't Trust Average Joes with Phones

Have you ever looked at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals electronic devices policy?

If you're a member of the bar or the media, everything's A-O-K. If you're Joe Schmo trying to get a glimpse of the appellate court at work, you're S-O-L.

The general policy states, “Visitors may keep an electronic device (e.g., cell phone, laptop, iPhone, iPod, MP3 player, etc.) in the courthouse and annex if the device does not have a camera (still or video) or is not capable of recording audio.”