Today's hearing in the public-access fight over the Jeffrey Epstein-related files should begin shortly.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska has joined the telephone conference.
Counsel for the parties continue to join, sporadically.
Live-feed coming for @CourthouseNews.
The parties on the call:
Virginia Giuffre's attorney Sigrid McCawley
Ghislaine Maxwell's attorney Laura Menninger
The Herald's attorney Christine Walz
John Doe's attorney Nicholas Lewin
Judge Preska says that she will allow non-parties to file objections to possible unsealing of documents by email.
Preska: Our proposal is that we begin with Does 1 and 2 together because they are mentioned in the same item.
(Note for those unfamiliar with the terminology: Courts typically identify anonymous parties as John and Jane Doe.)
Preska says she will docket the final protocols for arguments over unsealing.
Judge Preska rejects a proposal by Maxwell's counsel to prolong respond time to 30 days, in response to the pandemic, as "excessive."
She will consider each request on a case-by-case basis.
Mr. Lewin, the attorney for John Doe, urges the judge to reconsider because the current system starts with *service* to non-parties, cutting the time they have to respond.
The Herald's counsel objects, noting delay in newsworthy information.
Judge Preska won't budge: "At this point 14 days is certainly adequate."
She adds that she will consider and likely grant extensions on a case-by-case basis, if requested, but she won't prolong it as a rule.
Ms. Menninger, Maxwell's attorney, wants to change the language of notifications to emphasize (in boldface) possible consequences of disclosure.
The Herald's attorney Ms. Walz says the proposed language "mischaracterizes the media's role" in order to "encourage objections."
On behalf of Ms. Giuffre, Ms. McCawley objects on similar grounds.
Preska agrees that the change notification language is unnecessary and "does sound terribly scary."
"Accordingly the proposed language is denied," Preska rules.
Preska says she will add today's rulings to the docket.
Preska: "Counsel, good afternoon and thank you."
Adjourned. Story ahead.
You can follow @KlasfeldReports.
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