The Unblinking Eye Turns to Appellate Law: Cameras in Trial Courtrooms and Their Effect on Appellate Law

18 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2015

See all articles by Mary E Adkins

Mary E Adkins

University of Florida - Levin College of Law

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Over the past twenty years, most American courthouses have been wired with audio and video recording equipment to enhance security and economize on court reporting costs. These in-house alterations have an overlooked consequence for appeals. The mere existence of these recordings of all courtroom occurrences will unavoidably change the way appeals are handled and reviewed.

Appellate courts will need to make new types of decisions on whether to accept the audio-video recordings as appellate records or continue the reliance on transcripts and items entered into evidence. If the appellate courts do not accept audio-video recordings as appellate records, or if they accept some but not all recordings, the courts will need to develop a fair and rational way to decide when to use appellate records based on transcripts only and appellate records based on an audio-video recording . Attorneys will also need to consider whether to demand video recordings for trials, and, how to use the existing, probably more limited, forms of recording for appeals.

This Article will discuss the likely implications of complete, gavel-to-gavel audio and video trial court recordings on the appellate record; on standards of review including appellate review of evidentiary rulings and witness credibility; and on distinctions between appeals and collateral actions.

Keywords: courtroom procedure, cameras in courtrooms, recorded proceedings, video recordings as appellate recordings, media coverage of trials, wired courtroom, appellate law

Suggested Citation

Adkins, Mary E, The Unblinking Eye Turns to Appellate Law: Cameras in Trial Courtrooms and Their Effect on Appellate Law (2010). Journal of Technology Law & Policy, Vol. 15, No. 65, 2010; University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2703949

Mary E Adkins (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

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