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Chief Judge Phyllis Hamilton (NDCA); Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman (District of Oregon); Magistrate Judge Candy Dale (District of Idaho); Susan Gelmis (Chief Deputy-Operations: Ninth Circuit); Kiry Gray (Clerk of Court: CDCA); Mo Hamoudi (AFPD: WDWA); Alexander Samuels (AUSA: District of Arizona).Moderator: Judge Virginia Phillips (CDCA)(Photo: Courtesy Photo) Judge Virginia Phillips (CDCA); Susan Gelmis (Chief Deputy-Operations: Ninth Circuit); Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman (District of Oregon); Mo Hamoudi (AFPD: WDWA); Judge Phyllis Hamilton (NDCA);  Kiry Gray (Clerk of Court: CDCA) ; Alexander Samuels (AUSA: District of Arizona); Magistrate Judge Candy Dale (District of Idaho). (Photo: Courtesy Photo)

We hope you enjoy this excerpt from Litigation Daily, the exclusive source for sharp commentary on mega court battles, winning strategies and the issues that obsess elite litigators. Law.com subscribers can sign up for The AmLaw Litigation Daily newsletter here. Anyone else can click here to subscribe.


In the early hours of March 4, 2020, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman of the District of Oregon received an urgent email message from another magistrate judge in Seattle. The local federal detention center in the Western District of Washington had issued a 48-hour lockdown due to a suspected case of the coronavirus.

The Seattle magistrate was reaching out to magistrates from around the Ninth Circuit to get their takes on how to run a criminal calendar under the circumstances. In this case, even the jail’s audio-visual equipment was off-limits to those in custody awaiting trial due to lockdowns meant to prevent the spread of the virus, which was beginning to get a foothold in the Seattle area.

“I responded, but more importantly a light went off,” said Beckerman. “It was March 4. It’s when it first hit me that we need to get ahead of this right away,” she said.

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