Guidance on Use of Videoconferencing in the Court

Before scheduling a videoconference, please note the following:
  • Permission from the presiding judge or special master is required.
  • The court uses enterprise-level videoconferencing, such as Polycom, Cisco, and Lifesize. The court does not support consumer-level videoconferencing, such as Skype or FaceTime.
  • The court usually begins proceedings between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Technical staff at the remote conference location must be available to assist at this hour.
  • The court generally requires at least one month's advance notice for videoconferencing for scheduling and testing purposes.

Once a videoconference has been approved by the presiding judge or special master, please note the following:

  • The court will send the requesting party a form to elicit information needed to set up a system test. Among other things, this form requests technical information such as connection speed and the type of videoconferencing system that is available at the remote conference 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 scheduled proceeding. It is recommended that someone from the requesting party be present for the test. Alternatively, the requesting party may survey the room prior to the test to establish where people will sit to ensure the proper placement of equipment and microphones.
  • To ensure a seamless experience on the day of the event, it is important that the room is free of clutter and noise.

On the day(s) of the videoconference, please note the following:

  • The court will connect the videoconference at least 15 minutes before the start of the scheduled proceeding to allow time to work through any unexpected connection problems. The court will also test all microphones and camera angles. It is important that technical staff at the remote conference site be present at this time.
  • While the proceeding is in progress, technical staff at the remote conference site must remain available by telephone in case of a problem.
  • If the proceeding spans multiples days, the court will connect at least 15 minutes early each day.