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Courtroom Technology


Introduction

 United States District Court for the Western of Pennsylvania has furnished each courtroom in the District with an electronic evidence presentation system located in a multimedia podium or cart.  These systems allow counsel to electronically display evidence for use in trials, hearings and other proceedings to the judge, witness, opposing counsel, and the jury.  While what each courtroom has differs from building to building and room to room every courtroom has at the least a document camera, a DVD/VCR, a connection for a laptop and at least one 42” LCD Monitor. 
Most courtrooms have more than just the one monitor as well as additional equipment such as video conferencing equipment,  to see the different courtrooms and what they contain beyond what is mentioned above, please visit the
Courtroom Equipment and Layout section.
Those who are new to the District, or who are otherwise unfamiliar with the equipment, are invited to participate in one of our Courtroom Technology Training Seminars. For information about these seminars please read the “Use of the Equipment” and “Erie, Pittsburgh and Johnstown Training Seminars and Materials” sections that follow below.
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Use of the Equipment
The court encourages the use of the equipment and will make every effort possible to ensure that the equipment is functioning and those using it are comfortable with its operation.
The court suggests you to make arrangements for a demonstration and trial run of the courtroom technology with the chamber staff and the Courtroom Technology Administrator prior to any use*.  For those new to the court or unfamiliar with the equipment, training seminars are offered monthly in Pittsburgh and quarterly in Johnstown and Erie (see link in next section for schedule).  
* Remember a DVD or VCR tape that works correctly in your equipment does not guarantee compatibility on the courtroom equipment and some computers may need settings changed so to function with the court’s equipment.  We ask that you test any media and equipment you wish to bring prior to proceedings. 
No adjustment will be made to accommodate equipment once a trial has started.
To schedule a trial run or test of the equipment and materials call Sean Fox, 412-208-7468
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 Training Seminar Information and Materials


2014 Erie, Pittsburgh and Johnstown
Training Seminars information and Schedule


Using the Courtroom Control Panels


Training Seminar Presentation Slides


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Preparing for a video conference call

Video conference calls MUST be scheduled at least one week in advance.  A test video conference MUST be completed prior to the live video call.  In accordance with court policy, the Federal Court does not make the initial outbound call if it is long distance, however, we will accept any inbound video call that you have pre-arranged.  The court’s system is an ISDN based system and we do not have the ability to bridge 2 or more locations OR an IP site into our equipment.  If you need bridging services, or a videoconference site located in another city, users must make those arrangements themselves.
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Preparing for an audio conference call

Prior to scheduling an audio conference call in the courtroom, you must contact the courtroom deputy.  At this time, you will be provided with a phone number that your party will use to call into the court.  In accordance with court policy, the Federal Court does not make the initial outbound call if it is long distance.  Please ensure that your party has the proper equipment to effectively participate.  The call will be broadcast throughout the courtroom via its audio system.  All the microphones will act as receivers (anyone speaking in front of any microphone in the courtroom will be heard by the remote party) and the other end will be heard thru the PA system in the courtroom.
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