Best Practice Courts – Attorney Access to Court Recordings

Disc of Zoom Hearing

The Michigan Supreme Court, the State Court Administrative Office, and the Michigan Judicial Institute are Simplifying Access to Justice.


For example, in the Best Practice Courts, attorneys pay $20, to obtain an AV recording of their hearing within days of the hearing:   Sample order forms:
In Best Practice Courts, attorneys can:
  • Review a recording prior to submitting a proposed order under the seven day rule
  • Review a recording priort to objecting to a proposed order
  • Review a recording prior to a 21 deadline for a motion for reconsideration
  • Review a recording prior to the 21-day appeal deadline
  • Review a recording prior to the 21-day deadline for objection and request for judicial hearing
  • Review a recording while reading the transcript to check for, and resolve, errors
  • Ensure that the official record is accurately typed and document needed correction(s)
  • Save clients from transcript fees if the video review resolves the issue; and
  • In summary, increase efficiency, lower costs, and improve the quality of legal services
Which Counties have adopted the best practice for quick attorney access to their clients’ public record?  Click on the link for the order form.
What if a transcript is needed?
If a transcript is needed in a Best Practice Court like Kalamazoo County, the attorney fills out a request form and submits it to the court. The court has a rotating list of about 10 licensed transcriptionists that process the request, keeping an efficient rotation—to ensure quick turnaround. This system, which preserves the digital record for verification, has reportedly increased the accuracy of transcripts and reduced complaints.
What other states have “Best Practice” courts that allow quick attorney acess to recordings of court proceedings?
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Connecticut 
  • Florida 
  • Indiana 
  • Kentucky 
  • Massachusetts 
  • New Jersey 
  • North Carolina 
  • Ohio 
  • Utah
  • Virginia 
  • Washington
How can you help your local court administrator to learn more about adopting Best Practices? 
Provide your administrator with examples of forms and policies from the Best Practice Courts.  For example, provide a sample local administrative order for the chief judge to consider (See Sample Local Administrative Order per MSC AO 2020-8 Eff. Apr 7, 2020Download)


Simplifying Access Justice

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