Friday, July 24, 2009

Supreme Court rebuffs Tenenbaum on trial webcast

The US Supreme Court has denied Joel Tenenbaum's request that it stay his trial until the full Court can consider his plea that it "suspend" the District of Massachusetts local rule prohibiting courtroom broadcasts. Tenenbaum has fought an ultimately unsuccessful battle to have his closely-watched copyright trial, which starts Monday in federal court in Boston, live-streamed on the Internet for public viewing.

Nesson's counsel Charles Nesson wrote to Justice Steven Breyer requesting a stay, but the Court's docket indicates that the request was denied by Justice Samuel Alito. Breyer is circuit justice for the First Circuit, but was recused because his son Michael is president, chairman and co-founder of Courtroom Connect, the parent of Courtroom View Network, the firm that had planned to offer the Tenenbaum webcast, which was approved by District Judge Nancy Gertner before being nixed by the Court of Appeals. Nesson has already filed a cert. petition on the webcast issue, which remains pending and will be considered at the Court's September 29 conference.

(Disclosure: I signed on to an amicus brief in the First Circuit in support of the webcast.)


  1. How surprising! ;-)

  2. Hopefully someone can take a recorder into the courtroom for us.

  3. It is not that I disagree with the concept of broadcasting court proceedings, but after witnessing how badly it was abused in the OJ trial I believe such broadcasts may very well serve as an unwelcome distraction as counsel play to the camera and not to the jury.


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