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For immediate release: December 28, 2004
For further information contact:
Winnie Comfort -- Tamara Kendig

N.J. Supreme Court Arguments Go Online Jan. 3

Beginning Jan. 3, oral arguments held before New Jersey's highest court can be viewed online via streaming video, today announced Stephen Townsend, clerk of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Anyone with Internet access can observe the court in action, he added.

Anyone who wants to watch the arguments can log on to njcourtsonline.com and link to the Supreme Court arguments. The arguments will be shown in real time and then archived on the Judiciary's Web site for 30 days.

"We had been anticipating offering this service for some time, and we now have the technology to make it possible," said Townsend about the high-quality video. "Instead of allowing only 60 or so viewers to watch the arguments in the courtroom, we can open the doors of the Supreme Court to a dramatically wider audience."

Judge Philip S. Carchman, acting administrative director of the courts, pointed out that video streaming adds a new dimension to the Judiciary's extensive and award-winning Web site. "Broadcasting arguments over the Internet is a fantastic way to educate students, attorneys and the public about how the courts work," he added. Law schools in particular may find video streaming a valuable tool, he added.

Nine voice-activated cameras and 10 microphones placed around the courtroom capture images and sounds that are transmitted electronically through the Web site. "This system allows the viewer to see and hear every speaker in the courtroom," said Deputy Clerk of the Appellate Division Jeffrey Newman, who coordinated the project. "The system also copies the video to create a permanent record for use by the justices and others who want to review the arguments in the future," he explained.

The first appeal to air online is The Times of Trenton v. Lafayette Yard. The summary for this case reads, "Is defendant, a private entity designated by the City of Trenton to redevelop City land, a public body within the meaning of the Open Public Meetings Act?" Additional materials on this case will be available on the Judiciary's home page. The calendar of upcoming arguments is available on the Judiciary Web site under Supreme Court/Supreme Court Argument Schedule.

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