Friday, October 4, 2013

Attorneys May Now Bring Cellphones, Laptops, and Tablets Into Middle District of Florida Courthouses

Lawyers have needed to stow their cellphones before bringing them into MDFLA courthouses and obtain Court order to bring in laptops.  As of September 26, 2013, that has now changed.  While the Court retains its general policy that no one may bring a personal electronic device past security, the following exception has been added:
2.4 Attorneys
Any attorney permitted to practice law in the Middle District of Florida may bring any personal electronic device beyond the courthouse's security checkpoint by presenting a valid Florida Bar identification card or pro hac vice order.  In addition to the restrictions set forth in paragraph 2, attorneys may not use personal electronic devices directly outside of any courtroom when court is in session.
"Personal electronic devices" are:
things like cellular telephones, "smart phones," laptop computers, and tablet computers.
So I can shelve my form motion for permission to bring in my computer.  Standard caveats still apply, which is to say they must be kept on silent, can't be shared with others, can't be used to disrupt any proceeding, and can't search for juror information.  And the security personnel may inspect them.  The full order is below.

In re: Possession and Use of Personal Electronic Devices in Federal Courthouses in the Middle District of Florida, General Order 6:13-MC-94-ORL-22