Thie United States District Court for the Western of Pennsylvania has furnished each courtroom in the District with an electronic evidence presentation systems that allow counsel to electronically display evidence for use in trials, hearings and other proceedings to the judge, witness, opposing counsel, and the jury.
While the method of jurors viewing the evidence differs in some courtrooms (Large monitors on carts vs monitors in the jury boxes) and the number of counsel tables varies, every courtroom in the district has computer hookups at the counsel tables and AV cart (Both HDMI and VGA), a document camera, and a distribution system to send evidence to high-definition monitors throughout the courtroom. The specific layouts of specific courtrooms will be covered below.
The HDMI and VGA connections at each counsel table and the AV cart/podium are full sized cables, if your device needs any adaptors to convert to mini connections or to connect via a USB port you will need to provide them as often one brand of computer or device prefers or works better with a different adaptor from another one.
The Blu-Ray DVD players in each courtroom will play standard DVDs as well as Blu-Ray, if you plan on playing DVDs it is strongly recommended you test them prior to your proceeding.
Each courtroom has a monitor at the following locations:
- Witness Box
- AV Podium or Cart
- Counsel Tables
- Clerk & Court Reporter
The jury views the evidence by the following methods depending on the courtroom:
- Pittsburgh courtrooms 3A, 3B, 5A, 5B, 7A, 7C, 10A, and Erie C: Built in Jury Box monitors, one 25” monitor per 2 jurors
- Pittsburgh courtrooms 6A, 6B, 6C, 8A, 8B, and 8C: Two 65” monitors on wheeled carts, typically one placed at each end of the box
- Pittsburgh courtrooms 7B, 9A, 9B, 9C, Erie A and Erie B: Wall mounted 75” monitor
- Johnstown: LCD Projector and screen
Many courtrooms have an additional 50” jury/gallery monitor, check with chambers.
Most courtrooms have spare HDMI output jacks in or around the counsel tables or AV podium for connecting additional equipment that parties may want to bring in and use.
Video conference calls MUST be scheduled at least one week in advance.
A test call is required prior to the live video call if the witness is not participating via Zoom or is participating from a facility that is unfamiliar to the Court.
The Court can connect via IP video conferencing, Zoom, or Teams for video calls, if other methods are needed it is the responsibility of the party to arrange methods to connect with the court’s available methods.
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 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. It is usually recommended to schedule this appointment thru the chambers sometime the week prior to the proceeding.
If parties desire to bring in additional equipment that the Judge has agreed to (Projection screens, extra monitors, etc.) it is the responsibility of those who are bringing the additional equipment to arrange time with chambers for testing and setup.
No adjustment will be made to accommodate equipment once a trial has started.