Clerk’s Corner: Spring 2019

By Chief Clerk John Domurad

We have all heard the saying that “technology is great—when it works.” Never has this adage proven more accurate than when applied to courtroom technology. If you have ever prepared to display your exhibit or document to the jury only to have the system fail, you know what I mean. Our IT team, led by IT Director Maurice Christopher, is working very hard to improve the quality and reliability of our courtroom systems. There are however, a few simple steps you can take to greatly improve the effectiveness and reliability of these systems.

First, determine the capabilities of the courtroom you will be using. We have a complete inventory of each courtroom posted on our web page at https://www.nynd.uscourts.gov/courtroom-technology. If the courtroom you are assigned does not have the technology you need, please feel free to reach out to the courtroom deputy for the presiding judge and see if it is possible to move the location of the proceeding.

Second, become familiar with how to use the equipment before your hearing. While much of the equipment is straightforward to use, during the pressure of a presentation, it often helps to have practiced beforehand. In addition, coming in before your scheduled hearing will help ensure your equipment and/or presentation are compatible with the courtroom systems.

Finally, we have improved our ability to use video-conferencing to have witnesses and even parties appear remotely. If you desire to use this capability it is critical you notify the courtroom deputy for the presiding judge at least one week in advance of the proceeding. This extra time is necessary so we can conduct a test with the remote location and so we can assign the necessary IT team member to assist with the proceeding.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding our courtroom technology, please feel free to give myself (518-257-1809) or Dan McAllister a call (315-234-8505) and we will be glad to assist.