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State courts livestream public proceedings amid pandemic

Many Wisconsin courts are livestreaming proceedings to keep the courts operating and accessible to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency in March, the Wisconsin Supreme Court temporarily suspended jury trials and in-person appearances, with limited exceptions.

Director of State Courts Randy Koschnick said the court system issued Zoom online videoconferencing accounts to the state’s 249 circuit court branches in mid-March. He said about 70 circuit court branches in 23 counties set up YouTube channels to stream the Zoom proceedings live, and a few are streaming regularly. The current channels are listed on the Wisconsin Court System’s website.

Koschnick said his goal is to have all of the state’s circuit-court branches livestream public proceedings. He said more courts are being added daily, and he expects an increase in the number of livestreamed proceedings as the courts reschedule canceled proceedings and work through previously scheduled phone conferences.

About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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