Using Zoom and Virtual Courtroom Resource Center
(Last updated: 6/17/2020)
Quick Section Links:
- SCAO Virtual Courtroom Recommendations - High Level
- Recent Instructional Webinars on using Zoom
- Zoom Basic How-Tos
- Polycom Use with Zoom and Tips
- How to Setup Live Streaming using YouTube and integrating with Zoom
- Using Virtual Background and sample background images
- Getting Support for Virtual Courtroom Activities
- Michigan Judicial Institute - Administrative Reference Materials
- From Zoom - Updated Privacy Statement
- From Zoom - Recent Message from CEO Addressing Questions
- For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), visit SCAO's Virtual Courtroom Resources
- Information to Share with Self-Represented Litigants or Public Participants to Virtual Hearings
Recommendations on Using Zoom & Public Access for Court Proceedings
If you are not familiar with setup and basic use of Zoom, leverage the links, materials, and recorded webinars on this page to get started.
SCAO recommends courts have a designated court staff member join every meeting as Host, to control participants and manage the Zoom meeting space.
You should make setting changes for the default behavior of your Zoom meetings from the Zoom Web Portal (https://zoom.us/profile/setting) for your account.
Assuming you have a Host in every meeting, we recommend the following options:
- Do not enable “Join before host”;
- Enable “Waiting room” and admit participants when the judge/room is ready;
- Make sure your Host staff member is familiar with the in-meeting controls for managing participants.
Using Zoom to Record for the Court Reporter:
- Enable Cloud Recording (we don’t recommend using the “Local recording” option);
- From Meeting Settings under Email Notification enable “When a cloud recording is available”; the email account you use to login to Zoom will receive a notification when Zoom finishes processing the recording of a meeting, and that email will include a link that you can share with your Court Reporter to allow them access to the recording files;
- Per revised Michigan Trial Court Standards for Courtroom Technology, courts should download and store a copy/backup of the recording using existing storage tools.
- After the Host starts a meeting, the Host should select the Record option from the control bar to begin recording.
Public Access via Live Streaming – follow the instructions ***here*** to setup and enable YouTube Live Streaming from your Zoom meetings (initiated/controlled by a Host).
- Once you’ve successfully created a YouTube account and live streaming channel, complete the survey ***here*** for SCAO to list your channel from the One Court of Justice website;
- Court Display now supports YouTube Channel ID. Courts can now link its Virtual Courtroom on its website, where visitors can access the court’s YouTube page. (JIS courts only)
- Work with your current local court website administrator to post a link to your channel and a message regarding public availability of court proceedings via live streaming to your website;
- Consider adding a "Do Not Record" watermark (link to example you can use) to your live stream using the instructions ***here*** (use the option "entire video").
- YouTube automatically saves and makes available recordings of live streamed video; SCAO recommends that you manage these recordings appropriately after live streaming is completed (these recordings should not be considered an official court record). Please see our FAQ topic on this subject ***here***.
- Youtube automatically enables a Live Chat feature when live streaming; your court should be aware of the settings to control or disable this feature, please see YouTube support on this topic ***here***.
Recent Zoom Webinars:
|Zoom Updates and Additional Features, Presented 5/29||
|May 29 Webinar Slides||
|Demo Using Zoom Tools During Virtual Court Proceeding, Presented 4/24||
Using Virtual Courtrooms, more tools and Panelist discussion, Presented 4/10
SCAO Standards, Guidelines, and other Virtual Courtroom Resources:
Slide and Example Content from April 10th Webinar:
Zoom Additional Features, Presented March 27th
Slide Content from April 3rd Webinar:
Slide Content from March 27th Webinar:
|Zoom Basics, Presented March 20th|
Slide Content from March 20th Webinar:
General Zoom Web Conferencing Basics:
Schedule and Start (Host) a Meeting:
Join a Meeting:
Giving Scheduling Permission to an Assistant:
Testing Audio and Video:
Audio Echo (Feedback):
Using Waiting Room Features:
Managing Breakout Rooms:
Sharing a Screen/Document through Zoom:
Participant List Controls (Including Locking a Meeting):
Tips for Successful Virtual Court Proceedings
- Dress in a soft solid color (like a black robe for judges). If a tie is worn, use a solid tie rather than one with a pattern.
- When speaking, remember to look directly at the webcam, not at the screen.
- Position the camera at your eye level or slightly above eye level.
- Be mindful of what is behind you, choose a solid neutral wall if possible.
- Check the lighting. Light from a window behind you might blind the camera, making the image look dark. Light above you in the center of a room might also cast shadows. Ideally, position a lamp, or sit facing a window, where light is directly on your face. Also be aware that your monitor casts light that can make you look blue.
- Remind the participants to speak one at a time and to pause prior to speaking in case there is any audio/video lag.
- Encourage the participants to mute themselves or mute them yourself when not speaking in order to avoid any potential background noise.
- Only email the link to the Zoom meeting to those participating in the proceeding, encourage the public to view the proceeding on the court's YouTube channel.
- Test your connection and setup with Zoom by testing your connection with a test meeting.
Getting Support for Virtual Courtrooms
If you have challenges with Zoom controls or YouTube live streaming, please consult online support for Zoom or YouTube before contacting SCAO.
If you are experiencing network or performance issues, please consult your local court/county IT resources.
For questions about Virtual Courtroom setup and guidelines, please email email@example.com