Access to Courts

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Some Federal Courts Post Audio Recordings Online

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.

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With Cameras Banned in the Supreme Court, Undercover Video Emerges

People are discovering a recently-posted YouTube video that apparently shows both a portion of the oral argument in a campaign finance case in October 2013 and Wednesday's interruption of an oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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California Judicial Council Recommends Repeal of Law Criminalizing Juror Internet Use

In August 2011, California adopted a statute making it a crime for jurors to use social media and the Internet to do research or disseminate information about cases. Now, two years after the law went into effect, the state's Judicial Council has recommended that the statute be repealed.

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Ninth Circuit Starts Live Streaming, As Federal Camera Test Continues

In early December, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that it would provide live-streams and archived video of oral arguments on its web site, starting later in the month.

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Who is a Journalist? Here We Go Again…

In the wake of the Associated Press and James Rosen incidents, the call for statutory protection for journalists and their sources has started anew. The Obama administration has called on Sen.

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"Newsgathering in Massachusetts" Guide Now Available Online!

Service of Process, 2.0

The judicial system in the United States has kept up with technological change in many ways. We have electronic filing, websites for federal courts, and Internet streaming court coverage. But there is one way that courts have not been as quick to adapt electronically – service of process.

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CMLP ANNOUNCEMENT: Mass. SJC Rejects Prior Restraints and Supports Right to Stream and Archive Court Proceedings Online

The following is cross-posted with permission from our good friends at the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School. The original post can be found here

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See No Evil: Study Says Judges Don't Find Jurors Using Social Media

The Federal Judicial Center has released a study which concludes that "detected social media use by jurors is infrequent, and that most judges have taken steps to ensure jurors do not use social media in the courtroom," and implies that juror use of the Internet and social media during trial is not a growing problem.

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Won't Somebody Please Think of the Children?: A Few Modest Thoughts on Mass. Senate Bill No. 785

On February 7, 2012, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary of the Massachusetts Legislature will hold a hearing on Massachusetts Senate Bill No.

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CMLP Alert: Mass. SJC Rules on Impoundment of Inquest Materials in Amy Bishop Case

On December 13, 2011, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that a judge of the Superior Court followed the wrong standard when denying a request by the Boston Globe for access to the transcript and report of an inquest into the death of Seth Bishop, the brother of Amy Bishop.

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D.C. Courts Fight the Future in New Rule Limiting Electronic-Device Use in Courthouse

The Blog of the Legal Times reports that the Superior Court of the District of Columbia – the local trial court for the nation's capital – has issued a new administrative order regarding use of electronic devices in the courthouse.

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New California Law Prohibits Jurors' Social Media Use

UPDATE: Two years after the law went into effect, California's Judicial Council recommended that the statute be repealed, saying that that the possibility of criminal sanctions actually impeded courts' inquiries into improper online activity by jurors. The criminal provisions were repealed in 2014, 2014 Cal. Laws chap. 99, although civil penalties remain.

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Cameras Roll in New Federal Court Experiment

It lacks the drama of the various flavors of "Law and Order" or the intrigue of a John Grisham novel. But the video of a July 21 hearing on the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction in Gauck v. Karamian, Civil No.

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Announcing OpenCourt

It is a fundamental principle of the United States legal system that courts should be open to the public.  This principle is widely regarded as more aspirational than factual, because of numerous practical barriers to courtroom access -- not the least of which is that most of us do not have the time or ability to travel to the court to witness proceedings in person.  While the news media report on judicial proceedings,

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