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New York StateUnified Court System

Courtroom 2000


The Supreme Court of the State of New York operates several
technologically advanced courtrooms.  

 

Courtroom 2000

One of these is our pioneering Courtroom 2000 for the New Millennium, which contains the latest in courtroom technology. This Courtroom surely places our court at the forefront of technological innovation in the state court systems of the country.  The Courtroom:

  • provides litigants with state-of-the-art technology, allowing cases to proceed in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

  • provides the Bar, Judges and court staff with the latest technological options for the litigation process.

  • serves as a technological laboratory for other courts in the State.

  • provides a training ground for attorneys, Judges, court staff, law students and court reporting students.

Courtroom 2000 features the following:

Real-time Court Reporting Facilities: Allows for instantaneous voice-to-text transcription, word indexing in transcripts, exhibit indexing and paperless transcripts.

Real-time Streaming:  Real-time streaming is the output of real-time transcription to a server that is protected by layers of encryption software and anti-hacking software.  Thus protected, the transcription is transmitted in real time to the attorney sitting in the courtroom and other persons on the attorney's side of the case located in the attorney's office or in other places: other attorneys, paralegals, support staff, experts, and others, including out of state.  All can follow every word of the proceedings as it is spoken.  The ability to follow the case in this way can greatly assist in the preparation of cross-examination, the presentation of later elements of the case, and so on.

Wireless Internet Access:  By this means, an attorney can communicate using instant messaging with other counsel on the case, experts, etc., who are not present in the courtroom.  In combination with real-time streaming, this capacity significantly enhances the ability of attorneys and others to follow and react to developments in the case as they occur.  Wireless access is available in all the facilities of the court.

Streaming of Witness Testimony:  Video of a witness as he/she testifies can be streamed to and viewed on a password-secure internet site.  In addition, the evidence that is shown using the evidence presentation equipment (see below) can be streamed along with real-time transcription so as to provide a complete picture of what the jury, the Judge, and the attorneys are seeing in the courtroom as it happens.  

Video Conferencing: Video conferences can be conducted using equipment available in the courtroom.

Electronic Transcripts: By means of special software, transcripts can be delivered securely by e-mail with enhanced viewing, mouse-click searching, and indexing capabilities.

Presentation of Electronic Evidence: Attorneys are able to present evidence to the Judge and jury through a wireless communicator or in the form of digitized evidence on CD-ROM by video monitors conveniently placed around the courtroom. A presenting attorney can "zoom in" on a portion of an item of electronic evidence on screen. A "kill switch" on the bench permits the Judge to turn off monitors until a particular item of evidence is admitted or if the Judge determines that certain images should not be made available to the jury. Digitized video depositions will be displayable along with synchronization to real-time transcripts, greatly facilitating examination of prior deposition testimony and trial testimony.

Advanced Monitors:  Currently in place in the courtroom are advanced 17-inch LCD monitors.  A 40-inch plasma monitor has been installed near the witness box so that the public can view the proceedings along with the court, the attorneys and the jurors.

An Interactive "Whiteboard": This replaces the conventional blackboard. Presentation of drawings or writings can be made in large format on video monitors in the courtroom using a sophisticated touch-sensitive screen. An attorney or witness can highlight aspects of a document of particular interest by writing over or drawing on an image of it and can store the notations on a computer. The screen interacts with virtually any computer-based material. Hard copies of the displayed items can be obtained from a color laser printer.

Touch Screen Monitor: Located at the witness box, this monitor and a connected light pen can be used by a witness to mark pieces of evidence for illustrative purposes. An expert witness, for instance, can mark drawings on a display to explain testimony clearly and dramatically for the Judge or jury.  The monitor is connected to monitors on the bench and in the jury box.

Animation: Computer-generated animation may be displayed on monitors for the Judge and jury. Attorneys can present animated explanations for events, functions, constructions and the like to supplement the testimony of expert and fact witnesses. Such presentations can have a powerful impact in helping finders of fact to understand complex events, processes and bodily functions.

Customized Integrated Electronic Podium: Replacing the traditional podium, the electronic podium serves the normal function of permitting attorneys to rest papers during the course of questioning but also does much more -- it holds equipment used to present evidence electronically in the Courtroom: a light pen for annotation by counsel on items of evidence displayed on monitors to the Judge and jury; a bar code pen; a flat monitor on which the attorney can see the item of evidence being displayed to the Judge or the jury; a video cassette recorder; a wireless communicator that projects items of proof on monitors; and a visual image printer to capture any frame from a video or still source for preservation purposes.

Personal Computer Docking Stations: Located at counsel’s table, the witness box, the bench, and the podium, these connections permit the presentation or analysis of evidence by witness or counsel. As indicarted, attorneys will be able to receive real-time transcription and to communicate electronically with locations outside the courthouse, such as their law offices, while the proceedings are taking place or during recesses.

Video Cassette Recorder: Connected to the evidence presentation system, the recorder facilitates presentation and playback of taped evidence.

Component Computer: This computer is specifically designed to handle the processing of all information and to run software needed in the Courtroom.

Other Equipment: The courtroom is equipped with a portable infrared acoustical system and an LED display system.

The Courtroom accommodates cases that would benefit from access to this equipment, such as any form of document-heavy case, personal injury cases in which images or video presentations will play a large part, and the like. It is, of course, not necessary for counsel to utilize in every case every feature available in the courtroom.  The fully panoply of capabilities may be appropriate to some cases, while others might benefit from much less, such as the monitors and the presentation podium.  Attorneys should consult one another and the assigned Justice as to the technology that is needed for the case.  If a Justice and the parties to a particular case wish to have the case tried in the Courtroom, a member of the Justice’s staff should contact the Courtroom or the office of the Administrative Judge. Since attorneys or paralegals will have to undergo some quite modest training in the capabilities of the Courtroom, and there may be competing demands for its use, the sooner a request is made, the better the chance that it can be accommodated.

Other Advanced Courtrooms

At present, much of the equipment described above is also in place in two other courtrooms, Part 6, Rm. 442 (Hon. Eileen Bransten) and Part 16, Rm. 222 (Hon. Alice Schlesinger).  

March 2006