Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. � Jurors and witnesses in South Florida federal trials will no longer have to bury their cellphones in the ground before entering the courthouse. U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno, chief judge for the Southern District of Florida, issued an order last week expanding the use of cellphones in the courthouse to prospective jurors, seated jurors and witnesses. The cellphones may have integrated cameras, he stated. The issue of cellphones in federal court has been somewhat controversial in South Florida. Previous chief judges refused to even allow lawyers to carry cellphones into the courtroom, both for security concerns and to prevent photographs from being taken. Cameras are not allowed in federal courts nationwide, however a movement is now afoot to change that rule. Since 2006, lawyers, judges, courthouse employees and federal agents have been allowed to bring cellphones into federal courthouses throughout South Florida, including in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. But jurors, reporters and others have complained about the rule. Sometimes unaware of it, visitors to the courthouses have been forced to bury their cellphones in the ground outside the courthouses and retrieve them when leaving. In his order, Moreno noted that judges may need to contact jurors during recesses and attorneys may need to contact witnesses on short notice. Because U.S. marshals will inspect all cellphones, security is not a concern, he stated. “In today’s modern world, security concerns are paramount,” stated the order. “Yet these security concerns are satisfied by airlines, the White House, and the majority of courthouses in the United States where cellular telephones are permitted. Expanding the list to include these individuals will not diminish the security provided to the occupants of the courthouse, while at the same time enhance the availability of jurors and witnesses to participate in our court proceedings.” Moreno did not extend the privilege to the use of laptops.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.