The San Diego FBA presented awards to Chief Judge Dana M. Sabraw, Judge Larry A. Burns, Judge Anthony J. Battaglia, Judge Barbara L. Major, Judge William V. Gallo, and Clerk of Court John Morrill for their exemplary service to the federal legal community during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all witnessed, the Southern District of California was the vanguard among all U.S. District Courts. When nearly all other federal courts suspended operations, this group kept our district court running in a safe way so that our community would not have justice delayed.
In accepting this recognition, Judge Battaglia stated: “The effort to remain open and restore jury trials in the face of COVID-19 took all hands on deck to achieve. No single person or small group alone made it happen. Every judge was key. In some courts, judges were divided in what to do. Our judges joined hands and took a united front. Clerk of Court John Morrill’s staff, to a person, pulled their weight. The Courtroom Deputies were amazing in handling the public and the calendars, IT was phenomenal, the jury administration incredible, and the federal practitioners patient and cooperative.”
The San Diego FBA presented the awards during the 18th Judith N. Keep Federal Civil Practice Seminar. During the presentation, San Diego FBA President Dylan M. Aste declared that "this group has shown that they are leaders among leaders." The San Diego FBA and entire federal community thank Chief Judge Sabraw, Judge Burns, Judge Battaglia, Judge Major, Judge Gallo, and Clerk of Court John Morrill.
“A huge credit also goes to the San Diego FBA for the role it played in the process," Judge Battaglia continued. "Its production and filming of the mock trial was key in providing an invaluable resource. Not only was the Court able to test drive its jury trial protocols with variations, but we also had a ready guide for lawyers to know what to expect. That FBA contribution helped courts all over.”