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Bringing Local Rules on Photography and Recording Up to Date

by | Oct 28, 2020 | Rocket Docket

Many of you will find it refreshing—as I do—to focus on a development in the EDVA Rocket Docket that is not directly related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The District Court has proposed changed in Local Civil Rule 83.3 and Local Criminal Rule 53 (which are identical) to update the rules on audio and video recording of court proceedings to reflect modern technological advances. Information on the proposed changes can be reviewed on the court’s website here: https://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/news/proposed-local-rule-amendments-call-public-comments

Many of the proposed changes are simply acknowledgments of changes in technology. Thus, for example, the proposed new rules refer to “any recoding technology” rather than the “tape recorders” now referenced in the rules. Likewise, the rule adds “transmitting” in addition to “broadcasting” as prohibited activities within the courthouse.

In addition to clarifying circumstances in which photography is permitted within the courthouse not in connection with a judicial proceeding, the proposed new rules also include a new subsection expressly prohibiting any person remotely participating in a court proceeding from recording any proceeding without the express consent of the presiding judge.

The amendments will take effect on December 1, 2020, subject to revision in light of any comments received from the public on or before November 16, 2020.

David Deitch leads the White Collar Defense and Corporate Compliance practice at Berenzweig Leonard. David is an experienced white collar trial lawyer who has tried more than 100 jury trials to verdict in federal and state courts around the nation. He can be reached at [email protected]