The new courthouse offers opportunities for litigants to use technology in presenting their cases. There are 18 courtrooms, 1A on the first floor, and 4A to 8D on floors 4 through 8. There are 10 commissioner hearing rooms on the second floor, from 2A to 2J.
All courtrooms have microphones and speakers to enhance sound. Microphones have mute buttons that, when pressed, allow attorney / client communication. There is a microphone on the podium and there are floor standing microphones if needed, and a wired lavaliere microphone in each courtroom. Two commissioner hearing rooms, 2A and 2C also have sound amplification.
Courtrooms 4A-8D have the ability to project images. Images may be of documents, photos, x-rays or 3-dimensional evidence. The display equipment is located on a mobile cart. There is one cart per judicial floor. Each cart contains a VHS player and DVD Player (only MPEG-2 formats will play, otherwise a laptop must be provided to play a DVD in any other format), as well as a Document Camera. The cart projects a display onto a 5' x 7' drop-down screen, visible to all in the courtroom. The cart may be located either between counsel tables or in the center of the room. Laptops connected via VGA only. You laptop must have a VGA port, or your laptop cannot be used. To ensure the electronic evidence display cart will be available when you need it, call the office of the presiding judge and request staff to reserve it for you. Please be specific as to date and time. So that others have access to the equipment, counsel should call the office to cancel the need should that happen. If members of the Dane County Bar Association wish assistance in learning to use the display equipment, please call the DCBA office. Several local attorneys have been trained and have offered to assist others.
All courtrooms and commissioner hearing rooms have telephone conference capabilities. In courtrooms and hearing rooms with sound amplification, the conference is routed through ceiling speakers.
Ten courtrooms, the A and B courtrooms on floors 4 through 8, also have video conference capabilities. Two commissioner hearing rooms, 2F and 2J, also have video conference capabilities. Those wishing to make a video conference connection must advise the court at least four working days before the requested time to allow for approval by the court. Requesters must provide the ISDN number or IP address of the remote site and a contact person and phone number. It is the responsibility of the institution to ensure that the party is in the video room at the scheduled time. It is the responsibility of the court to connect with the institution at the scheduled time. If the court or institution is unable to meet at the scheduled time, it is their responsibility to contact the remote location via phone as soon as possible. The court may, at its discretion, choose to use a video connection for remote appearances by in-custody parties.
Wireless internet connections are available on all floors of the courthouse. There are also outlets under each counsel table in the courtrooms for litigants to plug in laptops or other devices.
All courtrooms have FM assisted listening capabilities for those with limited hearing, and these can also be used by interpreters for group interpreting needs. Each room has a specific frequency and channel. Shared sets of 16 devices are stored on floors 4, 6 and 8. Litigants should alert court staff to the need for a device.
Real-time is available either for assistance to the hard of hearing or deaf, or for attorney text management. Court reporters provide the transcription which is fed to a monitor supplied by the court. The court has four monitors which may be located at counsel table, the spectator area, the jury box or bench. To make arrangements, request assistance from the court reporter in the scheduled hearing. Stand-alone real-time is also available in commissioner hearing rooms. If this is needed, advise the presiding commissioner at least two working days in advance. Arrangements for purchasing an electronic transcript must be made with the court reporter. SCR 71.04(9) and (12) govern costs.
Hearing rooms 2A and 2C and courtroom 1A are equipped with 4-track digital recording systems to make a record when needed.
Nine courtrooms (1A, 4A, 4D, 5D, 6D, 7A, 7D, 8A and 8D) have windows from the courtroom to a room where TV cameras may be set. Sound is routed to the room. The 8D viewing room also has cable to the Lower Level media office so overflow media may also connect to a video and audio feed. This same feed can be run to the lower level assembly rooms for overflow viewing.
The A and B courtrooms can use video conference capabilities to send an audio and video signal to the lower level assembly room if needed for overflow spectators.