New ABA Web Site Highlights Top Federal Appeals Court Rulings

In an effort to help the press and public identify and understand important federal appeals court rulings and cases, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements has launched a new website that will summarize the most interesting or newsworthy recent decisions and pending cases before federal appeals courts. Reporters and others can sign up to receive free alerts about new cases.

For now, the project will cover the 3rd, 5th and 9th Circuits, with the rest of the circuits rolling out in future months. The case selection and summaries are being prepared by cooperating law schools: Temple University Beasley School of Law for the 3rd, the University of Texas School of Law for the 5th, and the University of San Diego School of Law and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law handling the 9th.

Judge M. Margaret McKeown of the 9th Circuit, former chair of the ABA standing committee, developed the site because of concerns about the drastically reduced coverage of the federal courts in the news due to staff cutbacks in the media. Judge McKeown said the new web site “promotes transparency and public access, which go hand in hand with judicial accountability and judicial independence. Greater access to and understanding of the judicial process fosters public confidence in our judicial system.”

Sources: The New Jersey Law Journal and The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.