The Joint Meeting of the Inland Empire Chapters of the American Inns of Court, DoubleTree Hotel, Ontario, California February 18, 2015

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

Every year, the Inland Empire Chapters of the American Inns of Court hold a joint meeting.  For the recent past (until last year), there were three local Inns: my Inn, San Bernardino’s The Honorable Joseph B. Campbell Inn, Riverside’s The Honorable Leo A. Deegan Inn, and Palm Spring’s The Honorable Warren Slaughter-Richard Roemer Inn.  Last year, we were joined by The Southwest Inn in Temecula, California.

The joint meeting is rotated amongst the Inns: last year was the Deegan Inn’s turn, and this year the honor went to the Campbell Inn. Next year will be The Southwest Inn’s first opportunity.

Our dinner was at the DoubleTree Hotel in Ontario, a sprawling, well-appointed facility.

Our speaker and honored guest was the Honorable André Birotte Jr., who was recently appointed, unanimously, by the United States Senate to be a United States District Court Judge for the Central District of California.  On that accomplishment, Judge Birotte remarked that he was surprised to hear a litany of yes votes (he mentioned Senator Hatch and Senator Cruz).  He thought it may have been non-controversial because he was appointed unanimously to be the United States Attorney for the Central District of California four years prior.

I asked him about why in the age of CM/ECF and mandatory electronic filing by litigants, why the Court required blue backing on courtesy copies.  He smiled and said he couldn’t speak for other judges, but that he only read the pleadings electronically, but that the clerks used the courtesy copies to make notes. It is good to note that Judge Birotte does not require blue backing for mandatory chambers copies. Judge Birotte’s Proedure and Schedule page says: “ALL EXHIBITS TO CHAMBERS’ COPIES MUST BE TABBED. BLUEBACKS ARE NOT REQUIRED,”

 

Judge Birotte spoke about the necessity of knowing and following the local rules, particularly Local Rule 7-3 requiring meet and confer.  He urged civility among the bar.  He said when he was a Los Angeles County Public Defender and an Assistant United States Attorney, the criminal bar was civil because it was a smaller community.

When asked about whether he spoke to the President upon confirmation, he stated that in both appointments, while he was vetted by Sentor Feinstein, he never spoke to President Obama. He said the older District Court judges told him that they spoke to their appointing-Presidents, but that was no longer the case.

The Mission of the American Inns of Court is to foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills.  If you are interested in joining The Joseph B. Campbell American Inn of Court, which normally meets at the Castaway Restaurant in San Bernardino, please contact me.

Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP
A: 1447 Ford St. #201
      Redlands, CA 92374
T: (909) 296-6708
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