Supreme Court grants exception to no-cell phone policy for hearing-impaired attorneys

For the first time, a group of hearing-impaired attorneys were allowed to bring smartphones into the U.S. Supreme Court to assist with their admission to the Supreme Court bar, Bloomberg BNA reported Tuesday.

The attorneys were using the Communication Access Realtime Translation, or CART, service, which enables a third party to create a real-time transcript of the proceeding.

While the Supreme Court has allowed the CART service to be used for arguing attorneys, this was the first time it was allowed for a bar admissions group, a Supreme Court spokesman told Bloomberg BNA.

In granting the exception, Chief Justice John Roberts signed “Your motion is granted” before welcoming the newly admitted attorneys verbally. The group stayed to hear two oral arguments that day.

Thousands of lawyers join the Supreme Court bar each year. Membership requires a $200 fee, membership in a state bar for three years and sponsorship by two current Supreme Court bar members.

The attorneys were from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Anat Maytal, a litigation associate at the law firm of Baker Hostetler and president of the association, said in a statement: “Our admission sets a precedent that will hopefully encourage others with disabilities to pursue a legal career and view the legal profession as being open to diverse backgrounds.”

For more:
– read the Bloomberg BNA report
– see the Wall Street Journal article

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Supreme Court grants exception to no-cell phone policy for hearing-impaired attorneys

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