U.S. District CourtIT Director Since David Ferguson: Tony Cirigliano: System Manager Jun - Aug Assistant Systems Manager Jun Network Manager - Programmer Analyst - U.S. Bankruptcy CourtAssistant Director of Information Technology Since Sep Tracy Richardson: U.S. Probation Clerk Jan Jeffrey Elmore, Director of Information Technology; Tony Cirigliano, Assistant Director of Information Technology; and Bobby Boone, Programming Manager—all from the Bankruptcy Court, North Carolina-Eastern—and Luta K. Pleiss, Help Desk and Software Trainer, Nebraska District Court were honored as a team. Together, they developed, converted. Vazquez, F.2d (2d Cir. ), cert. denied, U.S. , S. Ct. , 62 L. Ed. 2d (), a case in which the government convinced the Court that sealing delays ranging from 7 to 13 days were acceptable where the constant demands of an ongoing criminal investigation had taken up all the available time of government personnel.
Without the uniformity provided by a single, national interface—both internally for the courts and externally for users—the pilot would not have succeeded. The Team also developed a user manual of best practices to accompany national implementation of the system, and a Wiki for courts to. The Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York used the interface to make digital hearings available to the public in two major auto manufacturer bankruptcies, with the result that the digital hearings were downloaded over 1, times.
The system captures evidence electronically, as it is admitted, and allows jurors to use a touch screen kiosk to view the evidence during deliberations. JERS helps judges, attorneys and jurors use their time more effectively, and when the trial is over, appellate judges and litigants can use the JERS technology with the same advantages. Creasy and Bain designed, tested and implemented the system in their district, then collaborated with other districts to successfully implement JERS in other courts.
Beaulieu, network administrator in the U. Probation Officer Donald L. Martenz, Jr. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Court of Appeals Judge, U. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, September Appointed: Sharon Johnson Coleman,. District Judge, U. Appointed: Gary Scott Feinerman, as U. Appointed: Katharine Malley Samson,. Bankruptcy Judge, U. Appointed: Sean H. Lane, as U. Appointed: H.
Christopher Mott, as. Appointed: Leo I. Brisbois, as U. Magistrate Judge, U. District Court for the District of Minnesota, August Appointed: Cheryl A. Eifert, as U. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, September Senior Status: U. District Judge Sidney H. Stein, U. District Court for.
Elevated: U. District Judge Bruce D. Black, to Chief Judge, U. Court for the District of New Mexico, succeeding U. District Judge Martha Vazquez, September 2. Bankruptcy Judge Brenda T. Rhoades, to Chief Judge,. Bankruptcy Judge Bill G. Parker, September 1. Retired: U. Bankruptcy Judge Samuel L. Bufford, U. Bankruptcy Court. Bankruptcy Judge Leslie Tchaikovsky, U. Magistrate Judge Donald W. Bostwick, U. District Court for the. District of Kansas, August 1. Retirement: U. Magistrate Judge Raymond L.
Erickson, U. Published monthly by the Administrative Office of the U. Washington, D. Visit our Internet site at www. The committee chairs were named by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. Judge David A. Katz N. Ohio succeeds Judge Donald C. Judge Robert Holmes Bell W. Carnes N. Simpson III W. Bankruptcy Judge Eugene R. Wedoff, N. Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater N. Hinkle N. Reports can be exported to a spreadsheet or a PDF document.
Photos left to right starting at top left: Judge David A. Wedoff and Judge Sidney A. Fears, Clerk of Court Pamela E. District Court for the Central District of Illinois is recognized for the innovative and successful electronic-filing pilot project they developed for the Pontiac Correctional Facility. What was once a.
Time, paper, envelopes, copier supplies, maintenance fees and postage are saved and the prisoner case management process has been significantly improved. Other courts now have contacted the Team for information about starting similar programs. Outside of the Senate confirmation process, communication between the two branches of the federal government had become increasingly limited, a problem that former Chief Justice Rehnquist highlighted in his Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary.
Schiff: Congresswoman Biggert and I both saw that relations between Congress and the Third Branch were at a dangerously low ebb. We wanted to help bridge the divide, so we approached then Chief Justice William Rehnquist about establishing the Caucus. He was enthusiastic and agreed to be our inaugural speaker. Q: Your caucus is bipartisan.
Why is that important to your activities? A: Schiff: The issues we deal with are overwhelmingly bipartisan, which I find a very refreshing change. Having a well functioning Third Branch is not a partisan issue, and certainly having a strong line of communication between Congress and the Judiciary is an institutional interest that knows no political boundaries.
The Caucus does get involved in controversial issues; our top priority is making sure that Congress is hearing from the judges and vice versa. Biggert: The pursuit of justice should not be a partisan issue, and our members all share the same goal of strengthening communication between branches of For that reason, the issues that we work on rarely lend themselves to party-line divisions.
In fact, the bipartisan nature of the Caucus often makes it easier for our members to seek out and share their expertise on the Judicial Branch with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and lends credibility to the issues we advocate. Q: How does the Caucus identify issues on which you work? A: Biggert: Our mission is to work with the Judicial Branch on issues in which Congress directly impacts the court system, including new judgeships, sentencing guidelines, civil procedure, judicial vacancies, judicial compensation, the funding of courthouses, and other priority projects.
As with most legislative issues, topics can come to our attention through discussions with constituents, other Members of Congress, or even reading the newspaper. Most often, however, the Caucus is driven by the needs and concerns presented to us by officers of the court. We start from the premise that it is absolutely vital to ensure a strong and independent federal Judiciary to. Some of the key issues I see as related to that are the need for additional judgeships, assisting with judicial compensation, securing funding for courthouse construction, addressing security concerns in the courts, and other necessities.
Biggert: For example, Rep. Schiff and I have worked on legislation to improve the way cost of living adjustments are administered for court employees. In the past, we worked to change the way the Judiciary pays rent to the General Services Administration GSA so that courts would not be overcharged for their operating expenses. Biggert: Members of the Judicial Branch often rightly shy away from taking a hand in matters of policy, but that delineation is one for the courtroom.
Off the bench, judges need to share with Members of Congress how legislative decisions on these matters impact the ability of constituents to access quick and fair justice under the law. This can be done through letters, phone calls, meetings, or through organizations like our Caucus.
Q: As a Caucus, you meet with members of the Supreme Court, with state court judges and with other members of the Judiciary. What are the benefits of these interchanges? A: Biggert: These meetings provide a critical and rare opportunity for Members of Congress to interact with senior judges in a context where no pressing decision, legal dispute, or Constitutional question is at stake.
In the future, I hope to seek attendance from those with a broader range of judicial experience, including those from the circuit courts, and to draw greater attendance by Members of Congress who might typically focus their attentions on other issues because they have a background other than law. Schiff: The Caucus has had the opportunity to host nine Supreme Court Justices, with Justice Sotomayor as the most recent guest earlier this year.
We are also looking at opportunities to bring in federal judges from the circuit courts who can speak to. Those are important conversations as well. The Caucus encompasses members who were practicing attorneys and have a lot of experience with the federal courts, but we also have members who have never practiced law. So for some members the Caucus provides an opportunity to learn more about the structure of the federal courts and how judges approach their duties. We have a great diversity in the Caucus in terms of parties, regions, interests, and backgrounds.
Q: What could the Judiciary do to help Congress better understand our needs and interests? But less formal opportunities for communication should not be underestimated. Judges should seek out Members of Congress, build reciprocal relationships, and share their knowledge.
Judges frequently have personal and professional relationships with Congressmen and Senators, and they should maintain those ties and keep the lines of communication open. A: Schiff: I spent a lot of time in federal courtrooms, first as a law clerk for a. District Court Judge, Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr.
I have always been impressed by the very high caliber of judges who are appointed to the federal bench and I am more than aware of the extraordinary caseloads that they carry. I am concerned that our ability to compensate judges appropriately will have an adverse impact on the quality of candidates for the bench in the future.
What used to be the capstone of a distinguished legal career is now increasingly becoming a waypoint, as many judges leave the bench to go back into practice or become private judges. As Chief Justice Roberts observed in his report to Congress, continued inaction on judicial pay threatens to erode the quality of the federal Judiciary over time as we lose judges to highly paid private sector jobs.
No one expects the federal government to offer the same pay as a top law firm, but the larger the split becomes, the harder it will be to recruit and keep the best judges. Additionally, the confirmation process in the Senate has become excessively partisan, and good candidates are being discouraged by the years it can take to get an up or down vote in the Senate. Clearly the Senate has the right and duty to perform their diligence on each nominee and ensure they are deserving of a lifetime appointment to the Federal bench, but I believe the Caucus has a role in educating Members about the impact of extended delays on attracting judges and leaving positions unfilled.
Finally, there is a pressing need for courthouse construction. Courthouses are expensive undertakings, but they are also worthy projects that create jobs and pay lasting dividends in terms of a healthy judicial system.
Administrative Office of the U. Swygert 7th Cir. I developed a deep appreciation for the challenges of administering justice, and for the responsibility of interpreting the often vague language laid down by Congress. Giuliani, U.
William M. Tendy, Deputy U. Defendants have moved to suppress the fruits of oral and electronic surveillance. For the reasons contained herein, that motion is denied. The superseding indictment in this case, filed on July 9, , named eight defendants.
The first count of the indictment alleged that all eight defendants engaged in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a Schedule I narcotic drug controlled substance, namely, heroin, in violation of federal law.
The remaining twenty-eight counts of the indictment charged certain of the named defendants with having committed various substantive narcotics offenses. Prior to trial, defendants moved to suppress a large number of tapes on which the voices of some of the defendants may be heard. The tapes are the fruits of oral and electronic surveillance conducted pursuant to two orders issued by Hon.
The first order authorized thirty days' surveillance of defendant Venuti's home and telephone the "Venuti tap" , and was extended for an additional thirty day period by order of Judge Cooper on October 31, The latter order authorized electronic surveillance of conversations that took place on a telephone located in "Mr.
Ciccio's" barbershop, where defendant Mannino was employed the "Ciccio tap". Originally, defendants advanced four theories in support of their motions to suppress. First, they argued that the tapes should be suppressed because of the government's failure to ensure immediate sealing of the tapes at the termination of surveillance, as required by the procedures set forth in 18 U.
Next, they argued that the tapes should be suppressed because the law enforcement personnel conducting the surveillance did not properly minimize their interceptions in accordance with the dictates of 18 U. Third, they argued that the applications for the interception orders were not properly authorized by the Attorney General.
Finally, they argued that the unintelligibility of some of the tapes necessitated an audibility hearing in order to determine which tapes would be rendered inadmissible.
On August 27, , I issued my initial ruling on defendants' motions to suppress. See United States v. Venuti, S 84 Cr. In that Order, I denied defendants' motion to suppress on minimization grounds; ruled that the motion to suppress on grounds of improper authorization had been withdrawn at defendants' own request; and denied defendants' request for a pre-trial audibility hearing.
See id. As to defendants' motion to suppress because of the government's failure to ensure immediate sealing of the surveillance tapes, my ruling was, of necessity, more complex and less definite than its three companion rulings. First, I ruled that, as a matter of law, 18 U. See August 27 Memorandum and Order at There is no dispute in this case that the delay in sealing the Ciccio tapes was 13 days. Second, I considered whether the government had offered a "satisfactory explanation" for the sealing delays.
This question was, and remains, of great significance in this case since, under the law of the Second Circuit, the government's failure to provide a "satisfactory explanation" for the failure to seal tapes "immediately" must result in the suppression of those tapes at trial. Gigante, F. See August 27 Order and Memorandum at Upon my initial consideration of that explanation, I concluded that defendants were entitled to a pretrial evidentiary hearing that would examine the government's proferred justification "in some detail.
The pre-trial evidentiary hearing that followed took place during all or part of five trial days. In the course of the hearing, a significant amount of evidence and testimony was introduced, much of it concerning Assistant United States Attorney Perlmutter's mental and physical condition from December 1 until December 21, , the time period which this Court deemed to be of greatest relevance to the suppression hearing.
This evidence and testimony clearly established that during the period in which Perlmutter's statutory obligation to seal the Venuti and Ciccio tapes arose, he was overworked, emotionally distressed, physically ill, and regularly ingesting cocaine. On September 23, , at the conclusion of the pre-trial evidentiary hearing, I denied defendants' motion to suppress in a ruling from the bench. The factual and legal bases for that ruling are set forth in detail below. Congress enacted Title III in order "to ensure careful judicial scrutiny of the conduct of electronic surveillance and the integrity of its fruits.
Title III specifically requires that wiretap evidence be presented for judicial sealing "immediately" upon the expiration of the order or the extension thereof authorizing the surveillance.
See 18 U. United States v. In the instant case, defendants' motion to suppress relates to a 7-day delay in sealing the Venuti tapes, and a day delay in sealing the Ciccio tapes. Vazquez, F. Accordingly, the government must provide this Court with a "satisfactory explanation" for the sealing delays, or the Venuti and Ciccio tapes will have to be suppressed.
Originally, in these proceedings, the government claimed that the sealing delays had been caused primarily by Perlmutter's "heavy workload. The government now contends that the sealing delays occurred because Perlmutter was in such a distressed mental and physical condition that he had lost his "capacity to focus" on his statutory obligation to seal the Venuti and Ciccio tapes. The question squarely before me on defendants' motion to suppress is whether that refined explanation constitutes a "satisfactory explanation" within the meaning of 18 U.
Before proceeding any further, I wish to review certain facts and circumstances pertaining to the sealing delays at issue in this case. The Venuti tap was initiated on October 1, , pursuant to an authorization order signed by Judge Cooper. As the Venuti tap continued, a set of original and "original duplicate" tapes were produced on a daily basis.
At the end of each day's surveillance, the original tapes were heat-sealed in envelopes; the following day those tapes were transferred to the office of the Drug Enforcement Administration "DEA" , where they were placed in the DEA's evidence vault. See Evidentiary Hearing Transcript "Tr.
Snipes "Snipes". The tapes Snipes signed out were subsequently sealed by Judge Cooper on November 2, The actual monitoring on the Venuti tap, however, was suspended on November 16, by joint decision of Snipes and Perlmutter. See Tr. After the monitoring had ceased, Snipes asked Perlmutter if it was necessary to bring the tapes to Perlmutter's office for sealing. Perlmutter told Snipes that would not be necessary, since the Venuti tapes did not have to be sealed in accordance with Title III until after Judge Cooper's extension order expired.
Although the extension order expired on Friday, November 30, Snipes waited until Monday, December 3, , to remove the rest of the Venuti tapes from the DEA evidence vault and bring them to Perlmutter's office.
Although Snipes testified that he was generally familiar with the proper procedures for monitoring and safeguarding tapes of oral and electronic surveillance, see Tr. In any event, when Snipes delivered the tapes on December 3rd, he asked Perlmutter about the need to seal the tapes in compliance with Title III, see Tr. In response, Perlmutter said that he and Snipes should be more concerned with completing the affidavits and search warrants that had to be prepared prior to the arrest of the defendants in this case.
Perlmutter also told Snipes that he had checked with Judge Cooper's chambers and had been told that the Judge was out of town and thus unavailable to seal the tapes. At the pre-trial evidentiary hearing, Snipes testified that he has since learned that Judge Cooper was not out of town that week, but was in fact conducting a civil trial in his courtroom in the Southern District of New York. The order expired on Saturday, December 8, Once again, Snipes did not retrieve the tapes from the DEA vault during the weekend, but waited until Monday, December 10th to bring the Ciccio tapes to Perlmutter's office.
On December 10th or 11th, Snipes asked Perlmutter when he would seal the Ciccio tapes. Perlmutter told Snipes that he would take care of it, but that he had other responsibilities that he thought were more important. Later that week, responding to a direct inquiry, Perlmutter told Snipes he would take care of the tapes. From December 10th until either December 18th or 19th, Snipes periodically checked to see whether the Ciccio tapes which were lying in a corner of Perlmutter's office, see Tr.
On December 18th or 19th, Snipes learned that the Venuti investigation had been transferred to Assistant United States Attorney Jess Fardella "Fardella" , and that Perlmutter was no longer responsible for the case. Snipes then told Fardella that the tapes had not been sealed. On Friday, December 21st, the Ciccio tapes were sealed by Hon. Whitman Knapp, District Judge of this Court. His participation in the Venuti investigation arose out of his involvement in the Narcotics Unit, of which he had been a member since the late summer or early fall of Part of Brecher's responsibilities as the head of the Narcotics Unit was to review certain substantive work prepared by the attorneys under her supervision, such as factual affidavits that are submitted in order to get court authorization for wiretaps.
In the fall of , it was not Brecher's policy to review an Assistant United States Attorney's compliance with Title III sealing requirements, which she regarded as a purely ministerial task that did not require supervision.
Recently, Brecher has made it her practice to ask Assistant United States Attorneys in her unit who are involved in oral or electronic surveillance whether they have satisfied the statutory sealing requirement, see Tr. But the Narcotics Unit has never had a "tickler" system, i. Brecher was generally aware, in November and December of , that Perlmutter was having marital difficulties and felt overworked, see Tr.
At no time in did Brecher even remotely suspect that Perlmutter was using cocaine. Brecher discussed Perlmutter's problems with his workload and his marriage with Bart M. Schwartz, the then Chief of the Criminal Division. With Schwartz's assent, Brecher decided to offer Perlmutter the opportunity to take a week's vacation between Christmas and New Year's.
The decision to transfer responsibility for the Venuti investigation from Perlmutter to Fardella, however, was not related to Brecher's concerns about Perlmutter's personal problems. Rather, the reassignment was based on Brecher's prior determination that she would eventually relieve Perlmutter of his duties in the Venuti investigation in the event that another case of which Perlmutter was in charge actually went to trial.
The government's original explanation for the sealing delays, that the prosecutor in charge was simply too overworked, is not without support in the record. Perlmutter's colleagues noticed that Perlmutter was working hard on a large number of cases.
See, e. Brecher herself testified that in the months preceding late December, , Perlmutter frequently worked six and seven days a week and often late at night. Although such evidence is obviously relevant to my general inquiry in this case, I do not find it dispositive on the issue of "satisfactory explanation. Although Special Agent Snipes testified that Perlmutter was busily engaged in several tasks following the arrests in the Venuti investigation, see Tr.
This lack of precise proof compares unfavorably with the more complete evidence relied on by the Second Circuit in United States v. See F. In contrast, the record in this matter contains various indications that Perlmutter was not always devoting his full energies to the Venuti investigation at the time when his obligation to seal the tapes arose.
Moreover, testimony that Perlmutter, on at least one occasion, told Snipes that he had more important things to be concerned about than sealing tapes, see Tr. In raising the foregoing considerations, I do not intend to discredit entirely the explanation of overwork. Perlmutter's heavy workload undoubtedly contributed to the sealing delays in this case.
I do find, however, that Perlmutter's workload, by itself, cannot be said to provide adequate justification for the sealing delays here at issue. It is now clear, however, that there is more to this matter than an overworked prosecutor. In the fall of , Perlmutter was besieged by personal difficulties. His marriage was steadily deteriorating, a problem that he discussed with his friends at work see, e. His supervisor Brecher testified that in late November or early December of , Perlmutter walked into Brecher's office and told her, "I just want you to know that if my marriage ends, you should feel guilty about it, because you will be responsible.
There was also considerable testimony at the pre-trial evidentiary hearing that Perlmutter was physically ill during the first three weeks of December, the time during which his duty to seal the Venuti and Ciccio tapes arose. Snipes testified that during that period Perlmutter appeared to be suffering from a chest cold, and that he had once told Snipes that he had gone to a doctor to be treated for inflamed lungs.