Cameras in the Courtroom

Program Overview

The Western District of Washington is among fourteen district courts participating in the Cameras in the Courtroom Pilot Program authorized by the Judicial Conference of the United States. The court will follow the basic Pilot Program guidelines issued by the Judicial Conference's Committee on Court Administration and Case Management. Pursuant to those guidelines, please note the following specifics for Western Washington:

  • Active and senior district judges in the Seattle division are eligible to participate in the Pilot Program. The following judges have agreed to participate: Chief Judge Pechman, Judge Lasnik, Judge Martinez, Judge Robart, Judge Jones, Judge Coughenour, and Judge Zilly. Proceedings before a magistrate judge are not eligible to be video recorded.
  • Video recording of court proceedings is limited to non-prisoner civil cases only and requires the approval of the presiding judge and consent of all parties.
  • The Pilot Program is being conducted for research purposes only. Digital recordings emanating from the pilot, including any transcript made from the recordings, are not part of the official record of the proceedings and should not be used as exhibits or part of any court filing.
  • Parties are provided an opportunity near the beginning of the case to agree to participate in the Pilot Program. The clerk will subsequently seek consent to video record each scheduled proceeding.
  • Consent to video recording of one proceeding in a case will not be construed as consent to record any other proceeding in the case.
  • The presiding judge, any party to the case, the media, or a member of the general public may request that a proceeding be video recorded by following the applicable procedures.
  • A party's decision whether or not to consent to video recording, and the reasons therefore, will not be made part of the public record in the case.
  • A party may request that a witness be exempted from the video recording of a proceeding by following the applicable procedures.
  • Only court personnel are permitted to video record court proceedings.
  • The presiding judge may decide not to make all or part of a video recording available to the public.
  • Video recordings will be made available to the public via the U.S. Courts Cameras in the Courts Video Player Website and this court's website.

Questions regarding the Western District of Washington's participation in the Pilot Program should be directed to William McCool, District Court Executive/Clerk of Court at (206) 370-8430 or via e-mail at william_mccool@wawd.uscourts.gov. Additional information about the Pilot Program can be found at U.S. Courts Cameras in Courts Website.