Federal judge routinely encourages “parties and counsel” to contact Sens. Feinstein and Boxer to address staffing problems

July 3, 2014

Here’s what seems to be a boilerplate item (originating in early 2013) in many decisions by Judge Lawrence O’Neill of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California:


Judges in the Eastern District of California carry the heaviest caseload in the nation, and this Court is unable to devote inordinate time and resources to individual cases and matters. This Court cannot address all arguments, evidence and matters raised by parties and addresses only the arguments, evidence and matters necessary to reach the decision in this order given the shortage of district judges and staff. The parties and counsel are encouraged to contact United States Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to address this Court’s inability to accommodate the parties and this action.

I hadn’t seen such things from other courts before, and I thought I’d flag this as an interesting bit of judiciary-legislative-public relations.

UPDATE: I originally just said the court does this, but on closer inspection I realized that this came in opinions of one judge, Judge Lawrence O’Neill, the only active judge assigned to the Fresno Division. My apologies for the error.

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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