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    Pandemic Reflections: Looking Beyond Our Courtrooms

      By Hon. Stacie F. Beckerman, U.S. Magistrate Judge In December 2019, I informed a pregnant defendant (“G”) at her arraignment that I was detaining her pending trial. She fainted. The deputy U.S. Marshal called 911, and G was rushed to the hospital. She was treated and released, and at the continued hearing, I stood my ground. However, a few months later, her baby was born suffering from complications, and I released G from custody to nurse her daughter to health while housed in a structured program. Soon G had demonstrated that she was not going to run, and I allowed her to return home to her family, but with…

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    Malcolm F. Marsh: A Judicial Philosophy of Kindness–Lifetime Service Award 2020

      By Kelly A. Zusman The U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society is pleased to honor Judge Malcolm F. Marsh with its 2020 Lifetime Service Award. This article is based on his 2005 oral history and many conversations with Judge Marsh. He was the “baby” judge in 1987. It had been seven years since President Jimmy Carter had appointed the trio:  Judges Owen Panner, Helen J. Frye, and James A. Redden. Judge Robert Belloni and Jim Burns were the senior judges, and the district of Oregon had just three U.S. Magistrate Judges at that time:  William Dale, George Juba, and Michael Hogan. Judge Malcolm Marsh had been appointed just…

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    Open for Business, Waiting for the Flood

    By Stephen Raher While the COVID-19 pandemic took most people by surprise, Oregon’s bankruptcy court was actually well-prepared for the disruptions.  “We have been working on our emergency preparedness plans for years,” says Clerk of Court Charlene Hiss.  “While these contingency plans are usually implemented for weather-related disruptions, they have worked just as well during the current health-related lockdown.” According to Chief Bankruptcy Judge Trish Brown, “The court focused on three goals when we revised our operations and procedures: complying with public health guidelines, remaining open for all people and businesses who need our services, and protecting our staff and customers.” Complying with stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines has…

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    The Federal Defender Office Continues Operations During The Covid Pandemic

    By Nell Brown The Office of the Federal Public Defender kicked off teleworking on March 12 with our first ever 4 pm all-office conference call and the signing of telework agreements for our personnel files. Far from time off, the Federal Public Defender staff has worked long hours during the pandemic, tackling new work such as advocating for vulnerable clients in potential prison hot spots while maintaining normalcy in workflow as much as possible and keeping our staff safe. For two months, we have maintained a stellar skeleton crew of just a few employees in the office to staff the phones and work with the court on daily business. All…

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    On Liberty, During a Pandemic

    By U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman I enter the courtroom and sit behind the bench in silence, without the ceremonial “all rise.” Instead of greeting the defendant, defense lawyer, prosecutor, and a small crowd of onlookers in the gallery, I sit alone and turn on my computer. On the monitor, the split-screen captures video feeds from all over the state: an individual in custody in federal prison, a defense lawyer sitting at his kitchen table, the prosecutor sitting in her home office, a court reporter, an interpreter, and me, seated and robed at my courtroom bench, positioned in front of our federal court seal. Court is in session. Thanks to…