LISTSERV Guidelines


Thank you for being part of the Office of the State Public Defender Listserv community.

The purpose of the below user agreement (“Agreement”) is to ensure all members have the best possible experience, and it applies to users of all listservs owned by OSPD. The existing line-up of OSPD listservs are:

  • AB 3070 – for people interested in the “Better than Batson”,
  • AB 2542 – for people interested in the Racial Justice Act (RJA),
  • SB 1437 – for people interested in issues related to Penal Code section  1170.95 resentencing

You are free to be a listserv user (member) of all these lists but are encouraged to pay attention to the subject focus of the lists and direct your postings appropriately.

Upon completing the registration process you will become an authorized user of the listserv (“member”) and will be responsible for complying with the terms and conditions of the Agreement. Please read this Agreement carefully and consult it frequently.


By posting to the listserv, the member agrees to be bound by, and to comply with, the proscriptions and terms set forth in this Agreement.

1)  Purpose

a) The listservs are for the facilitation of the legal defense of criminal cases by the sharing of information among members, all of whom are expected to behave in accordance with professional standards. All members are required to preserve any attorney-client, attorney work product, and similar protections. Specifically, the listservs may not be used for litigation purposes (e.g., as exhibits to declarations, or to question witnesses).

2)  Professional Responsibility

a) All listserv members should exercise sound judgment and discretion in the information they post.

b) To the extent that substantive discussion does take place on listservs, civility is imperative if these valuable tools are to serve their important functions. Dialogue benefits everyone, and no one should fear that participation will be an unpleasant experience. People necessarily differ in their experience levels and even people of the same experience level often differ on issues. Be gentle.

c) If/when it becomes inappropriate that certain people remain members of the listservs, please alert Institutional supervisors who know of such persons should please do the same.

3)  User Eligibility and Eligibility Determinations

a) Only attorneys currently litigating on behalf of criminal defendants in criminal or civil cases or staff reporting to such attorneys may participate in OSPD listervs.

b) Employees of prosecutorial or law enforcement agencies or those who work with such agencies are not permitted to participate or use material or information received during any prior participation in OSPD listservs.

c) By participating on the listserv, participants verify that they continue to meet these qualifications. A user whose employment changes such that they are no longer qualified must immediately notify

d) Applicants are required to submit their state bar number, or the bar number of the attorney for whom they work. OSPD will use information from the State Bar website to verify attorney employment in a defense capacity.

e) OSPD will consider on an individual basis the applications of members of the advocacy or academic communities to participate on the listserv. Contact to request such consideration. Non-attorney listserv members are bound by the same agreements as attorney users.

4)  Confidentiality

a) When posting members should be aware that because emails are transmitted electronically, it is impossible to guarantee the confidentiality of posts.

b) Attorney members have a reasonable expectation that all information disclosed on the listserv will remain confidential, and they agree that disclosures on the listserv are reasonably necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the listserv member either sought advice from colleagues or was consulted. Therefore, each member promises to keep listserv material confidential as a condition of participating in the listservs and are reminded to use their professional judgment before posting sensitive or client-related material.

5)  Postings

a) The listservs are unmoderated, meaning all postings go to all members as written by the author. However, in the event that any inappropriate posting is brought to OSPD’s attention, OSPD reserves the right to in its sole discretion to take all appropriate action in response, including terminating a member’s account.

b) Members acknowledge that OSPD does not control the information available on the listserv and that opinions, statements, services or other information or content presented or disseminated on the listserv are those of the authors, who are solely responsible for their content.

c) There is no need for the listservs to be used only in responding to queries. They may also be used to circulate material on some relevant topic that will benefit the defense community.

d) Members may also use the listservs for announcements of education or informational events that are relevant to the particular list (e.g., CLE courses, talks by distinguished speakers, forthcoming TV broadcasts).

e) Do not post any information or other material protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner.

f) Administrative announcements are circulated with the prefix ADMIN: (e.g., ADMIN: List Outage). Please read such messages before any others and before making another

g) Because the listservs are operated by a state agency, please do not send solicitations for donations or political activity

6)  Best Practices: The following are best practices that all members are encouraged to observe.

a) In the case of requests for experts, the replies should go offline to the requester, who will forward them on an individual basis to members who ask.

b) If you hit “reply” your email will go only to the sender. If you hit “reply all” your response will go to everyone on the listserv. Please use this function judiciously.

c) Send messages such as “thanks for the information” or “me too” to individuals and not to the entire list.

d) Members should please remember to include their full name, affiliation and contact info, including e-mail address in the body of each posting. (Your permanent automated signature block is where people would routinely look for this information). Even if you think your return e-mail address is in the header it may not stay there as the message is forwarded through various e-mail systems. Then people with information to share will not know where to send it.

e) Often a message for one reason or another comes from one account requesting replies to go to another. When responding to posts please pay attention to this information and reduce everyone’s irritation level by decoding and honoring such requests.

f) Along the same lines, please set any automated responses (e.g., out of office) so they don’t bounce back to the listservs. On request OSPD can suspend an account for a period of time, or members can do this themselves through the website for these lists. Information on how to access these websites is in the email sent to members after registering to join the listservs or contact

g) Large attachments can choke the e-mail systems of some of our members. If possible, please provide a link instead of attaching documents or condense the pdf attachment or group of attachments to a size of 20 MB. For larger documents contact

h) Do not send administrative messages, such as “remove me from the list”, through the listserv. To unsubscribe from the list contact

OSPD reserves the right to:

1)     ask members to move discussions off-line and to take necessary steps to ensure compliance with such requests; and

2)     suspend or terminate membership on all lists for members who violate this agreement.

If you do not accept this agreement, please unsubscribe from the list(s) by contacting