Virtual Court Checklist

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Court Tech Support & Best Practices

Note: This checklist assumes that we are hosting a live 'Zoom' court without the addition of streaming software such as Streamlabs/OBS. This is to be considered the BASIC configuration.

Preparation Review

  • When is court (Date & Time)?
  • When is the court ‘dry run’ (Date & Time)
  • Who/How many people will be on camera?
  • How long is court scheduled to run? (add 30 minutes for planning purposes)
  • Have you used this specific pile of technology (camera, computer, microphone, etc) before?
    • Have you done a camera test to ensure that you’re getting the picture quality that you want?
    • Have you done a camera test to ensure that everyone will fit in frame or are you going to be shifting the focus (actively moving) the camera during court?
    • Have you done a test recording to your scheduled court length to ensure that your memory card is big enough?
    • Have you done a microphone test?
    • Have you done a placement check to ensure that you have power, internet, etc where it will be needed to film court?
    • Do you need batteries? Do you have enough batteries?
    • Is your internet connection sufficient to stream? If not, and you are streaming, consider changing locations. (20M/20M is generally OK)
    • How do you plan to transfer large files between people? Dropbox? Google Drive? Something else?
  • Will court be live or prerecorded?
    • If live, have you tested the internet connection?
    • If live, have you tested the streaming platform?
    • If live, are you planning to also record? (See comments regarding prerecorded courts)
    • If live, are you planning to have remote parties digitally join the court (someone else joining in via a zoom call, for example)? Have you tested this?
    • If prerecording, do you have an editor with the required software arranged?
    • If prerecording, how do you plan to distribute the recording & when?
  • Are you filming inside or outside?
    • If filming inside, do you require additional lighting?
    • If filming outside, is your microphone going to pick up unwanted ambient noise?
    • If filming outside, do you have an indoor location in case of inclement weather?
  • Did the pointy hats approve the video and audio quality of the test record? If not, adapt and overcome.
  • How are you going to backup everything?

Day of Checklist, Streaming

  • What were your lessons learned from your technology dry run?
  • Do you have all of your equipment setup?
    • Internet access
    • Required software
    • Microphones
    • Camera
    • Computer
    • Lights
    • Power access
  • Make sure everyone is ready to start filming no later than 1 hour before streaming time.
  • Begin broadcasting a ‘court will begin at 00:00’ card at T-30 minutes
  • Does everyone know what the transition cues are? (when camera focus should shift or the video should cut over to another speaker).

Magic Time

  • Ensure that all speaking parties are logged in to the Zoom session
  • Spotlight TRM, and/or the camera that will follow them to process.
  • Stream AND Record (save a local copy) court.
  • Make a backup of the media file & store offsite.
  • Transfer a copy to the editor for final edits.
  • Upload to media hosting service (Youtube, as a video premiere, for example).