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NINTH CIRCUIT GETS WIRED, POSTS AUDIO ARGUMENTS ONLINE The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is expanding its public galleries to offices and homes, figuratively speaking. Now eager ears that missed the jousting of oral arguments in person can hear them, save them and replay them for free over the Internet. The appellate court began offering free recordings of those proceedings on its Web site Tuesday, following in the steps of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which offers a similar service. The Ninth Circuit previously offered cassette tapes of oral arguments but charged $15 apiece, said Cathy Catterson, clerk of the court. The digital recordings now available online boast better sound quality than the old tapes, too, Catterson said, noting that the court recently upgraded the audio recording equipment in its courtrooms. But dawdlers be warned: The witticisms, maneuvering and squirming in each case are available for a limited time. The court says it plans to keep the recording of each oral argument on the Web site for three months. — Pam Smith THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING Judge Richard Iglehart’s family has set up a foundation in honor of the late Alameda County jurist that will encourage children to participate in wilderness programs. “He was so much of a wilderness guy,” said Judith Pacault Iglehart, the judge’s wife. “It made sense to put together a foundation that could pass on Dick’s love of the wilderness to children.” Iglehart died July 2 while attending a legal conference in Istanbul. He was 60. Iglehart was a career prosecutor for nearly 30 years, rising to the rank of chief assistant DA in Alameda County and San Francisco. He was appointed to the Alameda County bench in 2000. When Iglehart wasn’t in court, he was an avid outdoorsman who twice hiked Mt. Shasta and who enjoyed kayaking and whitewater rafting, said his wife, who chairs the foundation. The Richard Iglehart Foundation has started accepting scholarship applications from children who are 7 to 14 years old who want to participate in camping, backpacking or other wilderness programs. More information about the scholarship can be found at www.iglehartfoundation.org. The application deadline is March 1. While the foundation will only award a few scholarships this year, Iglehart hopes that the program will grow to sponsor school camping trips. The foundation is raising money and plans to sponsor other events, like a bluegrass festival at Lake Tahoe. “I wanted something so people would not forget him,” Iglehart said. — Jahna Berry LOCAL COURT MEETINGS HIGHLIGHT BUDGET The only way to get money in Sacramento, especially during a budget crisis, is to shout louder than the other guy. So what happens when you’re subdued, as the courts normally are when it comes to money? “If the judiciary does not have — statewide — a very loud voice � the judicial branch is going to lose out to other parties,” said Orange County Democratic Sen. Joseph Dunn. It’s a warning Dunn has chimed since last year when he got together with Republican colleague Dick Ackerman, also from Orange County, to craft a plan to rescue the courts from major budget cuts. Now, faced with another round of heavy cuts under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal, the senators are taking their show on the road. Dunn’s office is planning a series of public hearings throughout California in coming weeks to try to draw attention to the courts. At the hearings, judges and court executives will testify about what budget cuts will do to their local court services. Dunn also has invited legislators to attend and plans to bring the information back to the Capitol. Although locals are still working with the Administrative Office of the Courts to figure out how a worst-case scenario will play out, major cuts could mean layoffs, staff furloughs, reductions in family services and the shifting of resources from civil to criminal, according to Dunn and court officials. Dunn, who plans to run for attorney general in 2006, said he’s heard of the attacks by cynics who doubt his intentions and say he’s just using the budget crisis to increase his name recognition in the state. He dismisses the criticism. He already has a high profile among lawyers, Dunn said, and Ackerman’s involvement proves it’s a bipartisan effort. “Whatever the outcome of 2006, I’m going to be practicing law in 2007. Whether running or not, I would still be doing it,” Dunn said. The first hearing is in San Diego on Feb. 18. The second is in Oakland the next day. Dunn also plans to go to Los Angeles, Orange County, Fresno and Sacramento, but those dates are not scheduled yet. — Jeff Chorney

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