Covington Courtroom Technology
All courtrooms in the U.S. Courthouse in Covington have a state-of the-art audiovisual system. It's simple to use and is very helpful in evidence presentation and argument. The evidence system consists chiefly of a Video Evidence System control unit operated by the judge or courtroom deputy; an evidence cart operated by the attorney; and built-in technology features in the attorney tables. All the microphones in the courtroom are automatically leveled and equalized. The courtroom deputy or judge can also control all aspects of the courtroom's lighting, so let them know if you want it adjusted.
Each attorney table has a monitor which will show the same image as is being shown on all other monitors throughout the courtroom. The tables also have a jack for sending the image from your own laptop to the video system and, with an appropriate adapter (call us if you can't figure it out), you can send the sound from your laptop's sound card to the courtroom system. You may also plug in a VCR, videocamera, or audio tape deck at the attorney table and send the signal to the courtroom audio/visual system. (If you intend to use these devices please notify the Court ahead of time so appropriate arrangements can be made.)
A small button in the wiring well of attorney tables #2 and #3 will page the corresponding Attorney/Witness room in the Courtroom vestibule. Those same tables each have a Direct Cable Connection back to the Attorney/Witness room; using these connections you can connect your laptop to another computer in that room. (Because software packages used to make such a connection vary widely Court staff may not be able to immediately assist with the actual connection of your PCs. Again, please notify us ahead of time if you need such assistance.)
Each attorney table has two or more very sensitive microphones, with a toggle switch at the base. The mics are always on until you toggle the switch. Then they stay off until you toggle the switch again to activate them.
Finally, there is a direct intercom feed from the attorney tables to the holding cell just off the courtroom.
During bench conferences the judge has the option of turning on sufficient "white noise" to mask sidebar conversations.
The courtroom is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and federal regulations. We are committed to making trials and other uses of the courthouse available to all regardless of disability.
Just to the side of the lectern is the Evidence Cart, the heart of the AV system. The cart has a video monitor, laptop jack, VCR, and printer. In addition, it has a Wolfvision Analyzer display unit, which functions much like a high-tech overhead projector. Place any document or object on the unit's display table and it will be shown on all the monitors in the courtroom. The unit automatically focuses and has common-sense controls for zooming in and out on an item. However, for optimal clarity you should prepare documents in a larger-than-usual font size or with less text, or you may wish to display the document on your laptop and adjust the font accordingly.
Your witness can also use his or her finger or a pen to write directly on the monitor screen on the evidence cart or the screen in the witness box, and those markings will show up on the courtroom display a la Monday Night Football. You can do the same thing from the monitor on the Evidence Cart. This can be very useful for pointing out physical items or particular sections of documents. Touching the lower right hand corner of the screen will "undo" the last mark you made. The lower left-hand corner of the touch screen can be used to change color for emphasis or contrast.
You may need to request that the lights be dimmed for certain types of documents, and the larger the font you use the better.
Instant Translation Services:
The Courtroom also has the the facility at Attorney Table #2 for an interpreter to listen to testimony and instantly translate it through a microphone, and the translation can be received on wireless headsets anywhere in the courtroom. Everyone in the courtroom continues to hear the untranslated testimony unless equipped with the headphones. Additional headphones can be obtained as necessary, and for the hearing impaired the headphones contain a second channel which carries the normal courtroom audio with a substantial volume gain.
You can also patch the audio from a telephone call (single or conference) into the courtroom. Just ask the courtroom deputy to choose that option on the control unit and place the call for you. When all parties are on the line he or she will place the handset on the Telehybrid cradle and the telephone audio will flow through the courtroom speakers, while courtroom audio will be piped through to the caller for true two-way communications.
Printer and VCR:
The printer and VCR are in the cabinet doors in the bottom part of the evidence cart.
To print, simply inform the judge or deputy you'd like a hardcopy of whatever is on the monitors and in a few seconds it will print out, markings intact. A small charge for each page printed will be assessed as court costs. To show a video, inform the court and insert the video in the VCR. You can control the video from the VCR's own remote or the clerk or judge can do so using the video evidence system controls. You can control the VCR's volume in this way, but the volume of all other items in the courtroom have been carefully preset and can't be changed.
The laptop jack on the evidence cart works in the same way as the laptop jack on the attorney tables. Using your laptop you can also make PowerPoint and other types of presentations.
Video Evidence System Controls:
All aspects of the courtroom system are controlled from either of two identical control units, one each for the judge and courtroom deputy. The judge or deputy chooses which station (usually one of the attorney tables or the Evidence Cart) as the source for the audio/video being fed into the courtroom, then chooses which item on the station (e.g., laptop, display unit, VCR) to feed to the courtroom sound and video system. That signal is fed to all monitors and speakers in the courtroom. The attorney simply needs to make the Court aware of which item he or she wishes to display at any time.
For Further Information:
If you need additional information on any of the above, or need to arrange accommodations for audio, visual or other disability, or if you would like to receive this information in another format, please call us at (859) 233-2608, x134.