Foreword: BJI/CLR Symposium on Charting a Path for Federal Judiciary Reform

A principal mission of the Berkeley Judicial Institute (BJI), which I am privileged to serve as Executive Director, is to “fill a long-standing need to establish an effective bridge between the legal academy and the judiciary.” This mission statement reflects a common perception among both legal scholars and judges that the two institutions often talk […]

The Current Challenge of Federal Court Reform

Keynoter? What a daunting assignment before this gathering! I’m reminded of President John F. Kennedy’s remark at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners: “This is the most extraordinary collection of talent . . . that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”[1] As I survey this […]

Interbranch Information Sharing: Examining the Statutory Opinion Transmission Project

In 2007, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts revitalized a little-known program to “foster communication” between the judicial and legislative branches, enabling federal appellate judges to send to Congress, without further comment, opinions “that describe possible technical problems in statutes.” In our view, such a program is sensible: The Judiciary is uniquely situated to […]

Regulating Implicit Bias in the Federal Criminal Process

Like other supervisory lawyers, federal judges have twin responsibilities. They must comport with ethical and professional rules that govern their own behavior while simultaneously monitoring other attorneys to ensure they are not violating similarly controlling rules. The judicial robe, however, adds an extra dimension of responsibility in the trial oversight process. Specifically, as our understanding […]

Iron-ing out Circuit Splits: A Proposal for the Use of the Irons Procedure to Prevent and Resolve Circuit Splits Among United States Courts of Appeals

Part I of this Article discusses the problems circuit splits pose and how the circuit courts’ growing caseloads, combined with the Supreme Court’s shrinking docket, are perpetuating the potential for increasing circuit splits. Part II discusses the informal en banc procedures currently in place in the courts of appeals. Part III provides an overview of […]

California County Oversight of Use Policies For Surveillance Technology

California Senate Bill 1186 (SB 1186), proposed in 2018, would have implemented surveillance transparency, accountability, and oversight measures over the California Highway Patrol, the California Department of Justice, and every California police department, sheriff’s office, district attorney’s office, and school district and state university public safety department. Had it been enacted, SB 1186 would have […]

The Urban Environmental Renaissance

City governments were an important source of environmental protection in the United States from the 1800s until well into the 1900s. However, since Congress passed a series of landmark environmental statutes in the 1970s, scholars have primarily equated environmental law with federal law. To the extent that scholars consider subnational sources of environmental law, they […]

The Elastic Meaning(s) of Human Trafficking

What is human trafficking? When is an expansive definition of trafficking justifiable? How does trafficking relate to other concepts—like domestic violence, sexual assault, labor exploitation, and prostitution—with which it often overlaps? These questions have become increasingly salient after the U.S. Congress defined the crime of human trafficking in the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection […]