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Turn Off Your Cellphone or Go To Jail?

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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3 Responses

  1. Paul Gowder says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with this. Judges are surely entitled to order the cellphones off, and are surely entitled to enforce that order. One hour’s restraint and a hundred dollar fine isn’t much. The forty hours seems too tough, but within the range of discretion.

    The alternative is for the courts to do what they did in the local federal court: ban all electronic devices without exception. Do you know how bloody irritating that is, to not even be able to bring a palm pilot in? And how inconvenient it is for witnesses, clients, etc. who forget? Much better to force them to be off and strongly deter the violators.

  2. recent grad says:

    Wow. When I was in law school cell phones would ring with some regularity (maybe once or twice over the course of a term per class), but the professors always just ignored it. I was rather impressed by their (uniform!) discretion and easy-going nature. I think it would make a professor who retaliated against a student for something minor like this look rather petty.

  3. Matt says:

    The people who throw trash on the ground outside my apartment, grad, also don’t think it’s that much of a problem. Those making a mess and being annoying rarely do.