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D. Colo.

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Format: 2019
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Hill v. Williams (1:16-cv-2627) and Harlos v. Morrissey (1:16-cv-2649) (Christine M. Arguello, D. Colo.), Silberberg v. Board of Elections (P. Kevin Castel, S.D.N.Y. 1:16-cv-8336), and ACLU of Northern California v. Padilla (William Alsup, N.D. Cal. 3:16-cv-6287)
From eight to 15 days before the 2016 general election, federal actions in three states sought relief from proscriptions on “ballot selfies”—photographs of ballots taken by voters completing them. These actions and previous actions in three other states pitted freedom of expression against the secret ballot. Some district and circuit judges favored freedom of expression; others favored the secret ballot.
Subject: Polling place activities. Topics: Laches; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Baca v. Hickenlooper (Wiley Y. Daniel, D. Colo. 1:16-cv-2986), Chiafalo v. Inslee (James L. Robart, W.D. Wash. 2:16-cv-1886), Koller v. Brown (Edward J. Davila, N.D. Cal. 5:16-cv-7069), and Abdurrahman v. Dayton (Paul A. Magnuson, D. Minn. No. 0:16-cv-4279)
After one party’s candidate earned more votes in the 2016 presidential election, but the other party’s candidate earned more Electoral College votes, electors in four states won by the popular-vote victor filed federal complaints to relieve electors from voting as pledged. No federal court granted any plaintiff immediate relief. But in 2019, a court of appeals ruled that the Constitution requires states to allow electors to vote as they please.
Subject: Voting irregularities. Topics: Electoral College; intervention; laches.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

This report summarizes the results of a Center survey of district court judges to assess the frequency with which jurors used social media to communicate during trials and deliberations in the past two years, and to identify strategies for curbing this behavior. The survey was conducted at the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management. The survey also assessed the frequency with which attorneys use social media to conduct research on potential jurors during voir dire. The survey is a follow-up to one conducted in 2011 on jurors’ use of social media; attorneys’ use of social media was not addressed in the original survey.

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Common Cause of Colorado v. Coffman (John L. Kane, D. Colo. 1:08-cv-2321)
A federal complaint alleged that Colorado was engaging in improper systematic purging of voter registration rolls within 90 days of a general election in violation of the National Voter Registration Act. Among the issues in the case was Colorado’s practice of canceling new registrations if registration notices came back undeliverable within 20 days of their being mailed. After an evidentiary hearing, the parties stipulated to a temporary restraining order. The state’s secretary of state adopted an aggressive interpretation of his attorney’s stipulation, but the district judge further restrained the secretary’s actions. The litigation proceeded at a normal pace after the election, and the district judge eventually ruled that Colorado’s 20-day rule did not violate the National Voter Registration Act because voters affected by it could cast provisional ballots.
Topics: Registration challenges; registration procedures; National Voter Registration Act; enforcing orders; case assignment.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

Napolitano v. Davidson (Lewis T. Babcock, D. Colo. 1:04-cv-2114)
A pro se plaintiff challenged a ballot initiative that would change the allocation of the state’s Electoral College votes in the same election, alleging uncertainty in the strategic value of presidential votes. After expedited hearing, the court dismissed the complaint as too speculative.
Topics: Ballot measure; pro se party; intervention; recusal.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.

Available Online Only

In 2010, the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules requested a study of motions for sanctions based on an allegation that the nonmoving party had destroyed evidence, especially electronically stored information (ESI). The study examined the electronic docket records of civil cases filed in 2007–2008 in 19 districts, including at least one district in every circuit except the District of Columbia Circuit. This report summarizes the findings of that study and, where appropriate, compares those findings to other studies.

In Print: Available for Distribution

At the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, the Federal Judicial Center conducted a study of the use of courtrooms in the U.S. district courts. The committee requested the study in response to a November 2005 congressional subcommittee request for an empirical study of the use of federal courtrooms. The study was conducted between early 2006 and spring 2008, with data collected in twenty-six district courts during the period January 15 - July 15, 2007. For a subsequent report on bankruptcy courtroom use, see The Use of Courtrooms in U.S. Bankruptcy Courts (2010).

Archival Copy on File

General order related to Alternative Dispute Resolution by Mediation

Archival Copy on File

The 1994 Periodic Assessment conducted by the Civil Justice Advisory Group of the District of Colorado

Archival Copy on File

A survey of lawyers in the District of Colorado regarding changes to Federal and Local Rules

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