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U.S. Judge on Blogging, Speech, Cameras

U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner of Boston, who attracted the attention of bloggers and the news media earlier this year when she joined the roster of contributors to the new Slate legal blog, Convictions, shares her thoughts on judicial blogging, judicial speech and courtroom cameras in this week's episode of our legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer.

Judge Gertner -- who next month will become only the second woman to receive the ABA's Thurgood Marshall Award -- is the first Massachusetts judge, federal or state, to blog and one of only a handful of judges nationwide who blog. She believes strongly that judges should have more leeway to discuss their work, through blogs and other media. "The more we talk about what we do, the more we expose the shibboleths and the more maybe we can get back to respecting the institution," she tells us in this interview.

One of her more intriguing comments comes as the program wraps up. "In time, maybe, we'll one day have cameras in the courtroom, if I have anything to do with it," Gertner says. "Courts should be much more accessible to everyone in a way that they've never been before." As Mark Obbie observes at his blog LawBeat, the comment is noteworthy given a pending Courtroom View Network motion to put cameras in her courtroom to record an argument involving Countrywide Bank. Other observations she shares during the half-hour program:

  • Judges should be able to comment on their own cases, but in a way that remains consistent with their responsibilities as a judge.
  • She would encourage other judges to blog.
  • Judges should do more to help the public understand the difficulty of the job.
  • Her blogging has brought no direct feedback from other judges.

You can listen to or download the entire interview from this page. As always, you can keep up to date with all Lawyer2Lawyer programs by subscribing via RSS or using iTunes.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 14, 2008 at 02:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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