While we’re in the process of moving to electronic briefs, perhaps the time has come to rethink how we record trial court proceedings.

A recent post on CourTex raises that question and links to a report from a national court administration group that suggests digital recording for trials.

The implications for appellate practice could be significant — more transformational than electronic briefs. Electronic briefs help the appellate court do what it already does. But having a digital video record of the trial could transform how appellate courts experience the record. That may just change how we as appellate lawyers can present it to them (as embedded video clips of key testimony, for example). Or it may even start to push the traditional distinctions between the role of appellate and trial courts on questions such as witness credibility.

This may be a reality for 2020 rather than 2012. But the groundwork for these changes is being laid now.