Orange County Federal Court: When Judges Disagree

By on October 16, 2020

Meanwhile, an interesting story in the US District Court for the Central District of California. The Los Angeles Times reports on the dismissal of an indictment against an Orange County physician in a drug distribution case. The defendant had been indicted in 2017. He wanted his trial. But the chief judge, Philip Gutierrez, refused to lift the prohibition on jury trials. Therefore the trial judge, Cormac Comey, dismissed the case with prejudice. And he wrote with candor:

“Quite frankly, the court is at a loss to understand how the Central District continues to refuse to resume jury trials in the Orange County federal courthouse. Orange County restaurants are open for outdoor dining and reduced-capacity indoor dining…Nail salons, hair salons, body waxing studios, massage therapy studios, tattoo parlors and pet groomers in Orange County are open, even indoors, with protective modifications. Even movie theaters, aquariums, yoga studios and gyms in Orange County are open indoors with reduced capacity. Yet the federal courthouse in Orange County somehow remains closed for jury trials. The Central District’s refusal to resume jury trials in Orange County is indefensible.”

Public criticisms by a federal judge of a chief judge’s administration are rare.

AvatarMcDermott Will & Emery
Our 200-lawyer litigation practice advises clients of all sizes, from multinational corporations to individual plaintiffs and defendants. We successfully represent our clients in federal and state courts around the country. The strength of our lawyers is based on the fundamental principle that excellence in client service mandates deep substantive knowledge in a broad range of industries and areas of the law, and―when required―incomparable ability and success in the courtroom.

McDermott’s litigation team monitors US courts as they reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.

STAY CONNECTED

TOPICS

ARCHIVES