Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
copyright, judges

Companies:
limewire



RIAA Lawyer In Limewire Lawsuit Recommended As A Federal Judge

from the judicial-capture? dept

We've talked plenty about "regulatory capture," when people from industry shift back and forth into the federal government and help make the laws that impact the very industries they once took paychecks from (and likely will again in the future). But what about "judicial capture"? There was a lot of buzz recently about the former RIAA lobbyist who became a federal judge for the District Court in DC, and who is now ruling on copyright cases that could have an eventual impact on the RIAA. There may be some other similar situations coming up as well. Someone who prefers to remain anonymous pointed out that Senator Chuck Schumer recently recommended Katherine B. Forrest to serve as a judge in the SDNY district court. Among Forrest's recent cases? Representing the major record labels in their lawsuit against Limewire.

Now, this is not to say that Forrest wouldn't make a good judge. She very well might. This also isn't meant to single out Forrest. It's just that this particular situation, combined with the Howell situation, at least raises some questions about whether or not judicial bias is an issue. It's just not a topic that's discussed all that often. I would imagine that if she did become a judge, she would recuse herself from any RIAA related cases that might come her way. However, at a time when judges are becoming increasingly important in keeping things like copyright lawsuits from getting completely out of hand, shouldn't there at least be some exploration of whether or not judges' previous work experience might bias them in a particular direction?

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Willton, 19 Apr 2011 @ 1:17pm

    Um, Senate hearings anyone?

    However, at a time when judges are becoming increasingly important in keeping things like copyright lawsuits from getting completely out of hand, shouldn't there at least be some exploration of whether or not judges' previous work experience might bias them in a particular direction?

    Have you never watched C-SPAN? What do you think the Senate does when it holds a hearing for each judicial candidate and peppers him/her with questions? Do you think the Senators are probing the candidate about favorite colors?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.