From the California Courts website:
In 2006, the California Appellate Court Legacy Project was undertaken to interview all retired justices in the state, as well as active justices who may be nearing retirement. Overseen by the Appellate Court Legacy Project Committee (chaired by Associate Justice Judith L. Haller of the Fourth Appellate District, Division One), interviews are videotaped or audiotaped and conducted by interviewers selected from within the appellate branch. Ultimately the tapes will be made available to judicial colleagues, historians, scholars, law students, and members of the public. The resulting archive will be an historical record of both the personal experiences of individual justices and the evolution of the California appellate courts.
Sounds like a worthy project, but I can’t find out any more about it. Anyone know when or where the records will be archived and/or what their availability will be?
I am mildly embarrassed to say I earned about this from a lawyer clear across the country: Mitch Rubinstein at Adjunct Law Prof Blog.
I had occasion to do some research recently into the fight for changes in the rules for publication and the California ban on citation of unpublished California opinions (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.1115) and ran across The Committee for the Rule of Law. According to its mission statement, it “seeks to revive full publication of all decisions of the United States Court of Appeals and the Court of Appeal of California in official reports and to eliminate all rules of court prohibiting the citation of approximately 90% of all decisions of our appellate courts to any court for any purpose.”
The name of the group and the passion with which it argues may strike you as somewhat “over the top,” but if you are interested in researching the arguments in favor of such reforms, its web site is a good place to start. You will find links to a lot of materials regarding the debate in California, including links to past legislative initiatives, dozens of articles in law reviews and the press, and historical developments in the adoption of Rule 32.1 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, which, effective January 1, 2007, authorizes citation to unpublished opinions rendered on or after that date.
UPDATE (11/20/07): I corrected the effective date for Rule 32.1 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.