While the propriety of video and photography equipment in federal courts is subject of ongoing debate and testing, a number of federal bankruptcy courts and three federal district courts make audio recordings of their proceedings available to the public for a nominal fee.
In his article for The New York Times "Room for Debate" feature on whether courts should eliminate human court reporters (spurred by the chaos caused by the recent resignation of a drug-addicted court reporter in New York), U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Kopf casually mentions that proceedings in his court in Lincoln, Nebraska, are routinely audio recorded. The recordings are posted to the court's public online PACER database the same day.
PACER, short for Public Access to Court Electronic Records, is the federal courts' online case docket access system. Access to PACER requires registration, and fees are charged for accessing materials in the database. read more »