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Video Recording Courtroom Proceedings in United States District Courts: Report on a Pilot Project

Molly T. Johnson, Carol L. Krafka, Donna J. Stienstra
March 15, 2016
In Print: Available for Distribution

At the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, the Federal Judicial Center undertook an evaluation of a pilot program allowing video recording of certain civil proceedings in federal district courts. The pilot program, in which participation was voluntary, ran from July 18, 2011, through July 17, 2015, in fourteen pilot courts. The FJC evaluation looked at how the pilot was implemented in each court; the number and type of proceedings and cases recorded; the reasons why some judges and some parties declined to participate;  the experiences and views of judges, attorneys, and court staff who participated in the program; the extent to which recordings were viewed, who viewed them, and why; and the costs of implementing the program. This report describes the research approaches used, limitations of the pilot program and research design, and results from the FJC evaluation.