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New Privacy Measures at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Federal Court

Earlier this summer, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued a standing order regarding the possession and use of electronic devices in the courthouse. This order specifically addresses the use of cameras and other recording devices, including cell phones, tablets, and laptops. According to the order, this "procedure is intended to ensure the personal security and privacy of parties, witnesses, judges, jurors, and counsel involved in court proceedings".

Effective June 3, 2019, visitors to all EDPA courthouses and federal court locations are required to turn off their electronic devices upon entering the courthouse. The devices will then be placed in locked pouches provided by the U.S. Marshal. Select individuals, including attorneys, jurors, and judicial officers and employees, are exempt from placing their devices in locked pouches.

Find the full standing order, with the complete list of those exempt from using the locked pouches, on the EDPA's website.

For additional information and commentary on the order, see The Legal Intelligencer online article from August 1, 2019 "Cameras, Electronic Devices in Federal Courthouses: Rules for the Eastern District" by Leonard Deutchman. The article was also included in the print supplement to The Legal Intelligencer, the Pennsylvania Law Weekly, on August 6 (42 PLW 737).

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