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23 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 1 (1996-1997)
Videotrials

handle is hein.journals/onulr23 and id is 11 raw text is: Videotrials
DIANE M. HARTMUS
It has been suggested that if a time traveler from the fifteenth
century were transported to contemporary America, the only places
he would find at allfamiliar would be a church or a court.1
I. INTRODUCTION
It has long been recognized that our courts, and the trial process in
particular, serve not only as a vehicle for the just resolution of disputes, but also
as symbols of justice in our country. Courts must protect the public's belief that
their procedures, particularly trial procedures, assure the delivery of justice.2
Courts must not only resolve disputes justly, they must also maintain the public's
confidence that they are resolving disputes justly. In recent times, however,
increased exposure to our courts' trial rituals has brought increased exposure to
the delays and frustrations of those rituals. For years, many of the factors that
delay trials have been known to the legal community and to individuals who have
served as jurors. Prolonged periods spent in jury service, rude and excessively
argumentative lawyers, lengthy battles over the admissibility of evidence,
inconvenient and time-consuming service as a witness, trial delays, hung juries,
mistrials, and inefficient use of judicial personnel are some of the attributes of
trials to which the public has increasingly become accustomed. With this
increased public exposure has come, not surprisingly, a corresponding diminution
* Diane M. Hartmus is an Associate Professor of Court Administration in the Department of
Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and an Adjunct
Professor at CUNY Law School. Previously, she worked in the Article III Judges Division of the
Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Richard A.
Enslen, United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
I would like to thank Ned Benton for his continuing support, and Doris Tennant for editing and so
much more.
1. RobertAnderson et al., The Impact of Information Technology on Judicial Administration: A
Research Agenda for the Future, 66 S. CAL. L. REV. 1761, 1763 (1993)[hereinafter Impact of Information
Technology]; see also Jethro K. Lieberman, Will Courts Meet the Challenge of Technology?, 60 JUDICATURE
85 (1976).
2. See, e.g., Gordon Bermant & M. Daniel Jacoubovitch, Fish Out of Water: A Brief Overview of
Social and Psychological Concerns lbout Videotaped Trials, 26 HASTINGS L.J. 999, 1005 (1975)
[hereinafter Fish Out of Water].

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