Although 14 federal trial courts have been approved to participate in a voluntary three-year pilot project that allows limited use of video cameras, only a few proceedings have reportedly been uploaded for public viewing. Launched July 18, 2011, by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the project allows selected courts, including the District of Kansas, Eastern District of Missouri, Northern District of California, Southern District of Florida, and Western District of Washington, to be digitally recorded by court staff and uploaded to uscourts.gov if the presiding judge, the lawyers and their clients agree to be filmed.

According to a news source, however, few federal trials have been filmed because the parties did not agree to participate. For her part, Kansas District Court Judge Julie Robinson noted that she did not even notice the courtroom camera during a water-rights hearing, calling it “a little eyeball in the ceiling.” Asserting that the project needed better marketing, the judge said, “I’m encouraging the pilot judges to be more proactive. What we’re hearing are not substantive objections to it, but fear of the unknown.” See The Seattle Times, April 15, 2012.

For her part, Kansas District Court Judge Julie Robinson noted that she did not even notice the courtroom camera during a water-rights hearing, calling it “a little eyeball in the ceiling.”