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Guidance on Use of Video Conferencing in the Court
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has video conferencing capabilities in most every courtroom. The following guide details the court’s video conferencing requirements and offers suggestions on what to consider before and after requesting a video conference.
- Before scheduling the video conference
- Permission from the judge/special master is required.
- The court utilizes enterprise level video conferencing, such as Polycom, Cisco, and Lifesize. The court does not support consumer level video conferencing, such as Skype or FaceTime.
- The Court usually begins proceedings between 9 am and 10 am Eastern Time. Technical staff must be available to assist at the remote location at this hour.
- The court generally requires at least one month advance notice for video conferencing. This allows time for scheduling courtrooms and testing. If the court cannot conduct a proper test, or the quality of the call is in question, the video conference may need to be rescheduled.
- Conducting the video conference test
- Once the video conference has been approved, the court will send you a form requesting information needed to set up a test. Among other things, this form requests technical information such as connection speed and the type of video conferencing system that is available at the remote site. The technical information must be completed by remote site technical staff.
- The test must be conducted in the room and with the system that will be used for the actual event. It is recommended that someone from the party be present for the test. Alternatively, the party could survey the room before the test to establish where people will be sitting to ensure the proper placement of equipment and microphones.
- To ensure a smooth experience on the day of the event, it is important that the room is free of clutter and noise.
- The day(s) of the video conference
- The court will connect the video conference at least 15 minutes before the start of the event to allow time to work through any unexpected connection problems. The court will also test all microphones and camera angles. It is important that remote site technical staff be present at this time.
- While the event is in progress, technical staff at the remote location must remain available by phone in case of a problem.
- If the event spans multiple days, the court will connect at least 15 minutes early every day.