Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Streaming oral arguments

In Streaming of Appellate Arguments at the First Department the authors lament that despite the increasing frequency with which appellate oral arguments are being live-streamed and archived, the New York Appellate Division First Department is not doing so, but should. The article contrasts this policy with what New York's Court of Appeals (i.e., NY's highest state court) and the other three NYAD's are doing, and also notes:
Image result for live streamingFederal appellate courts provide varying levels of accessibility for oral argument. The Second Circuit offers the audio of its oral arguments but does not offer streamed oral arguments live. The Third Circuit offers an archive of video and audio recordings of oral arguments. The Ninth Circuit offers live streaming of oral arguments and various other circuit courts, including the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and D.C. Circuits, offer recordings either on the same day or within 24 hours of the oral argument date. Information about the individual policies of each of these courts is available on their webpages. The U.S. Supreme Court does not offer live streaming but does archive audio recordings of its oral arguments and these are easily accessible from its webpage. So, in the federal system, oral arguments, while far from being universally offered through live streaming, are either available through an audio or video recording or both. Most are available at no cost through the webpage of the specific court.
Speaking of the 7th Circuit and video arguments, the 7th Circuit conference a few days ago features a program titled The Fun and Fear of Arguing in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which included video clips from actual arguments -- proving that there's an education use for recorded arguments. Also, fyi, the 7th Cir. has updated its Practitioner's Handbook here.

Don't practice in a lot of different circuits, but would enjoy doing so? Google "Guide to Volunteer Pro Bono Appeals in the Federal Courts," for a 15-page circuit-by-circuit rundown of ways to get in the game! Many thanks to the "ABA's Pro Bono and Professional Opportunities Subcommittee of the Litigation Section's Appellate Practice Committee" [whew!] for creating this useful document.