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State-Federal Judicial Relationships

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The Advisory Group to the New York State–Federal Judicial Council analyzed New York State and federal courts’ treatment of prelitigation conduct involving the creation, retention, and destruction of electronically stored information (ESI) to determine whether the courts were consistent and harmonious when addressing these issues.

The report contains the group’s findings on the similarities and differences between the current New York State and federal laws that govern the prelitigation duty to preserve ESI, as well as its findings on whether the differences may lead to inconsistent obligations in state and federal courts and on possible resolutions to these inconsistencies.

The Federal Judicial Center did not contribute to this document. It is presented as an example of work from a state–federal judicial council.

This document is part of Federal and State Court Cooperation, a Special Topic Webpage.​

Notice of Meeting for State–Federal Judicial Council of ____________ (state)

To: ______________  (name and email address of judge)

Subject: State–Federal Judicial Council of_________  (state)

Meeting

A meeting of members of the State–Federal Judicial Council of _____ (state) will be held on _____ (date of meeting) at ___________  (time of meeting) at ________ (location of meeting).

The agenda for the meeting will include the following items:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

We hope you will join us for this meeting.

___________________________

Chair, State–Federal Judicial Council of ________ (state)

 

This sample form is part of Federal and State Court Cooperation, a Special Topic Webpage.

Notice of Organizational Meeting for State–Federal Judicial Council of ___________ (state)

To:____________  (name and email address of judge)

Subject: State–Federal Judicial Council of _________ (state) Organizational Meeting

You are cordially invited to attend a meeting of members of the state and federal judiciary in _______ (state) to discuss the formation of a state–federal judicial council in the state.

The meeting will be held at _________ (time of meeting) on _____ (date of meeting) at ______  (location of meeting).

The agenda for the meeting will include the following:

Purpose of the Council
Composition of the Council
Officers of the Council
Frequency and location for the meetings
Organizational information include setting the agenda for the meeting, administrative support for the meeting and travel arrangements, providing for written materials prior to each meeting, meeting minutes, and reports.

We hope you will join us for this initial meeting.

_____________________________

Chief Justice of  __________  (state)

_____________________________

Chief Judge, United States District Court for __________ (region/state)

 

This sample form is part of Federal and State Court Cooperation, a Special Topic Webpage.

Charter of the State–Federal Judicial Council of  _______ (state)

1. Name

The Council shall be known as the State–Federal Judicial Council of ________________ (state). 

2. Purpose

The purpose of the Council is to improve and expedite the administration of justice by the state and federal courts of the state through cooperative efforts; to promote and encourage collaborative judicial relationships between the state and federal judicial systems in the state; to promote discussions between state and federal judges on issues of mutual interest; to share materials and information that could benefit both systems; and to provide a forum where state and federal courts can work together to explore and solve problems of mutual concern.

3. Composition

The Council shall consist of at least  ______  representatives from the state judiciary and ______ representatives from the federal judiciary.

State Representation. Representatives of the state judiciary shall consist of justices of the state supreme court, one of whom shall be the chief justice, judges of the state court of appeals, and circuit judges. The state court representatives shall be appointed by the chief justice of the state.

Federal Representation. Representatives of the federal judiciary shall consist of U.S. circuit court of appeals judges who are residents of the state and U.S. district judges, U.S. bankruptcy judges, and U.S. magistrate judges. The federal court representatives shall be appointed by the chief judge of the district court in the state.

Administrative Support. Administrative support for the Council shall be provided, when necessary and appropriate, by the office of the state court administrator and/or the offices of the Court Clerks of the U.S. District Court, subject to approval of their supervisory judicial officers. Administrative support staff are nonvoting members of the Council.

A judge who is member of the Council by virtue of office shall remain a member of the Council while holding that office. A judge who is a member of the Council by virtue of designation shall remain a member of the Council for the period designated or until the designating judge shall appoint a successor.

4. Meetings

The Council shall meet ___ time(s) each year, at a place within the state at a time designated by the chair or by a majority vote of the Council. The chair may call special meetings of the Council to consider only matters specified in a written notice of the special meeting, provided to the Council members at least seven days in advance of the meeting.

5. Officers

Chair. The chief justice of the state shall preside at the inaugural meeting of the Council. At that inaugural meeting, the members shall elect a chair, who shall serve a term of two years. The chair of the Council shall rotate every term between members of the state and federal judiciary. The chair shall set the date of the meetings, preside over meetings, establish agendas for the meetings, oversee any subcommittees, and speak for the Council. The chair may also call special meetings as noted above.

Vice-Chair. The council shall elect a vice-chair to serve in the absence of the chair and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Council. The vice-chair and chair should not both be federal judges or state judges.

Executive Secretary. The council shall appoint a representative from the office of the state court administrator or the offices of the Court Clerks of the U.S. District Court as an executive secretary to the Council. The executive secretary shall provide administrative assistance to the chair and shall take minutes of council meetings, provide notice for and arrange meetings, and to perform other such duties as may be assigned by the chair, vice-chair, or Council. The executive secretary may also be asked to perform these duties at subcommittee or special meetings.

6. Voting

All motions, resolutions, and other actions of the Council shall be adopted by majority vote of the Council taken among the duly appointed members in attendance at the meeting where the action is considered, providing a quorum is present. A quorum shall consist of at least two-thirds each of federal and state judge members.

7. Committees

There shall be a standing executive committee, consisting of the chair, the vice-chair, and four other voting members of the Council appointed by the chair to serve for the duration of the chair’s term of office. Three members of the executive committee shall be federal judges and three members shall be state judges.

The executive committee or Council may authorize and appoint additional standing or special committees.

8. Amendments

This charter may be amended at any time by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Council.

Adopted this ____ day of _____________, 20___. 

Approved

For the state judiciary:

________________________

For the federal judiciary:

________________________

 

This sample form is part of Federal and State Court Cooperation, a Special Topic Webpage.

This handbook was developed by the Advisory Group to the New York State and Federal Judicial Council to provide readily accessible guidance to attorneys working on cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit who face the possibility that their clients or other parties may request the federal court to refer state law issues to the New York Court of Appeals or the possibility that the Second Circuit may certify state law questions sua sponte.

The Federal Judicial Center did not contribute to this document. It is presented as an example of work from a state–federal judicial council.

This document is part of Federal and State Court Cooperation, a Special Topic Webpage.​

In 2016, the New York State–Federal Judicial Council prepared this report on the coordination of discovery between New York state and federal courts. 

The Federal Judicial Center did not contribute to this document. It is presented as an example of work from a state–federal judicial council. 

This document is part of Federal and State Court Cooperation, a Special Topic Webpage.

Available Online Only

In 2016, at the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal–State Jurisdiction, a survey was sent to all chief federal district judges asking about cooperation with their state judge counterparts. The chief district judges were asked about topics and activities that could benefit from federal–state court cooperation, whether they collaborated with their state judge counterparts on the topics, and whether they were interested in additional cooperation. 

[This report was written and presented to the Committee in 2016, and approved for release in 2017.]

Available Online Only

In this issue of the State-Federal Judicial Observer:

  • Cold Spring Harbor Lab Hosts Judicial Seminar on Science, by James G. Apple
  • West Virginia is Site of Pilot State-Federal Judicial Seminar
  • State, Federal Judges Meet for Mediation Training in Alaska, by James G. Apple
  • State and Federal Judges Attend Science and Humanities Seminars
  • Criteria for Federal Jurisdiction Need to Be Preserved in Assessing Proposed Legislation, by William Rehnquist
  • A Maine Journey in State-Federal Judicial Outreach, by Frank M. Coffin
  • Chief Justice Theophilus Parsons: A Model of Judicial Statesmanship, by John Furniss

The State-Federal Judicial Observer was published from 1993-1999 as an occasional newsletter. It was issued by the Center's Interjudicial Affairs Office to further the Center's statutory charge to further cooperation between the state and federal judiciaries. Issues covered a range of topics relating to judicial federalism and provide updates on state-federal judicial councils in the states that have them.  

Available Online Only

In this issue of the State-Federal Judicial Observer:

Special Issue on Court Leadership

  • Samuel E. Zoll: Profile of a True Judicial Leader, by Robert P. Clayman
  • Chief Justice William Howard Taft and the Invention of Federal Judicial Management: A Study in Judicial Leadership, by Robert C. Post
  • Presiding Judges in State, Federal Courts Need Leadership Skills, by Isaiah M. Zimmerman
  • FJC Videoseminar on Leadership in Courts Offers New Perspectives
  • National Judicial College Plans October Course on Leadership
  • Leadership: A Necessary Part of an Independent Judiciary, by James G. Apple & Sonnie S. Sussillo
  • FJC, Other Agencies Establish Leadership Programs for Courts, by James G. Apple
  • Judge George Nicola of New Jersey: Paradigm of Judicial Leadership, by James G. Apple
  • Courts as Learning Organizations, by James G. Apple

The State-Federal Judicial Observer was published from 1993-1999 as an occasional newsletter. It was issued by the Center's Interjudicial Affairs Office to further the Center's statutory charge to further cooperation between the state and federal judiciaries. Issues covered a range of topics relating to judicial federalism and provide updates on state-federal judicial councils in the states that have them. 

Available Online Only

In this issue of the State-Federal Judicial Observer:

  • Wisconsin Court Programs Promote Public Confidence, by Melissa Deckman Fallon
  • Colorado Forms State-Federal Judicial Council
  • State, Federal Judges Share Bench in Maryland (photo with caption; includes a description of a joint state-federal settlement hearing)
  • FJC, NCSC Jointly Publish Manual for Cooperation Between State and Federal Courts
  • Midwest State-Federal Conference Planned for Fall 1997
  • USAID Project in Haiti Seeks Assistance from Judges and Court Personnel
  • Judicial Federalism in Congress: The Year in Review, by Orrin G. Hatch
  • Frontier "Hanging Judge" Isaac Charles Parker Helped Tame American West, by Thomas C. Bogle
  • State, Federal Judges Attend Human Rights Seminar
  • State-Federal Judicial Council Roundup: (California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Virginia)

The State-Federal Judicial Observer was published from 1993-1999 as an occasional newsletter. It was issued by the Center's Interjudicial Affairs Office to further the Center's statutory charge to further cooperation between the state and federal judiciaries. Issues covered a range of topics relating to judicial federalism and provide updates on state-federal judicial councils in the states that have them.

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