In a move that is somewhat aligned to providing digital access to transcripts, the Federal Courts have begun a pilot project of placing digital audio of courtroom hearings online. The Seventh Circuit is even providing an RSS feed of its oral arguments. This month's Federal Lawyer details some of the test courts, and the prospect of accessing audio of hearings does seem appealing. At the same time, though, it seems like transcripts -- with their searchability and skimability -- would be a more often-used tool for busy lawyers. That said, obtaining the audio afterward would certainly help explain some ambiguity as speech is translated to black-and-white. Cameras in the courtroom continue to be a hot topic, but microphones are old hat. Let's hope that the trend spreads. Podcasting your favorite attorney/judge/client, anyone?
Federal Judiciary Press Release (via Michael J. Tonsing, Federal Court Hearings on Your MP3 Player? Dude!, The Federal Lawyer at 10-11, Sept. 2007)