Louisiana Code of Judicial Conduct
(9) Except as herein provided a judge shall prohibit broadcasting, televising, recording, or taking photographs in the courtroom and areas immediately adjacent thereto during sessions of court or recesses between sessions. [Amended effective February 27, 2019]
A trial judge may authorize:
(a) the use of cameras placed inside the courtroom for security purposes without audio;
(b) the use of electronic or photographic means for the presentation of evidence, for the perpetuation of a record for the court or for counsel, or for other purposes of judicial administration;
(c) the broadcasting, televising, recording or photographing of investitive or ceremonial proceedings;
(d) the photographic or electronic recording and reproduction of appropriate court proceedings under the following conditions:
(i) the means of recording will not distract participants or impair the dignity of the proceedings;
(ii) the parties have consented, and the consent to being depicted or recorded has been obtained from each witness appearing in the recording and reproduction;
(iii) the reproduction will not be exhibited until after the proceeding has been concluded and all direct appeals have been exhausted; and
(iv) the reproduction will be exhibited only for instructional purposes in educational institutions.
An appellate court may permit broadcasting, televising, recording, and taking photographs of public judicial proceedings in the courtrooms of appellate courts in accordance with the guidelines set forth in an appendix to this Canon, subject, however, to the authority of each court and the presiding judge of each court or panel to (a) control the conduct of proceedings before the court, (b) ensure decorum and prevent distractions, and (c) ensure the fair administration of justice in the pending cause.
[Amended effective April 29, 2015]
TO CANON 3
for Extended Media Coverage of Proceedings in Appellate Courtrooms
I. As used in these
A. 'Extended coverage'
means any recording or broadcasting by the news media of court
proceedings using television, radio, photographic or recording
B. 'Presiding Judge'
means the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana,
the Chief Judge of a Court of Appeal, or the senior judge
of a panel of which the Chief Justice or Chief Judge is not
C. 'Proceeding' means
any hearing, motion, argument on appeal or other matter held
in open court which the public is entitled to attend.
D. 'Party' means
a named litigant of record who has appeared in the case, and
includes a party's counsel of record.
E. 'Media' means
legitimate news gathering and reporting agencies and their
F. 'Court' means
an appellate court and includes the Supreme Court of Louisiana
and the Courts of Appeal of the several circuits.
II. All extended
media coverage of court proceedings shall be governed by the
principle that the decorum and dignity of the court, the courtroom
and the judicial process will be maintained at all times.
Resolution of any question of coverage or procedure not specifically
addressed in this section will be guided by this overriding
III. A. The consent
or approval of parties to extended coverage is not required.
Parties may object to extended coverage by filing a written
objection stating the reasons therefore with the Clerk of
Court at least 10 days prior to the date of the proceedings.
Upon objection by a party, or on the court's own motion, the
presiding judge may prohibit or limit extended coverage of
B. Extended coverage
shall not be permitted in any proceeding which by law must
or may be held in private.
C. The decision of
the presiding judge on any question of coverage shall be final
and shall not be subject to review by any other court.
IV. Extended coverage
of a proceeding shall not be permitted unless notice of intention
to provide extended coverage of a proceeding is given by the
media to the Clerk of Court at least 20 days in advance of
the proceeding, provided that only reasonable notice shall
be required for coverage of expedited proceedings not regularly
V. Extended coverage
of court proceedings may be provided by news media agencies
and their representatives. Film, videotape, photographs, and
audio reproduction shall not be used for commercial or political
advertising purposes. Such use of these materials will be
regarded as an unlawful interference with the judicial process.
VI. Extended coverage
of investitive or ceremonial proceedings at variance with
these guidelines may be authorized by the court.
VII. When extended
coverage is permitted, all media representatives shall have
equally the right to provide coverage. When extended coverage
is to be provided by more than one media representative, the
media collectively should designate one representative to
coordinate with the court all matters dealing with extended
coverage. Any pooling arrangements among the media required
by the limitations and restrictions on equipment and personnel
contained in these guidelines shall be the sole responsibility
of the media and must be made in advance of the court proceedings
to be covered. Judges and court personnel will not mediate
any dispute as to the appropriate media representative or
equipment authorized to cover a particular proceeding. If
pooling arrangements cannot be made or if there are unresolved
media disputes, the presiding judge may deny extended coverage
VIII. A. No more
than two portable television cameras, each operated by no
more than one camera person and positioned as unobtrusively
as possible at locations approved by the court, shall be permitted
to be physically in the courtroom. Only television equipment
which does not produce light or distracting sound will be
permitted. Videotape recording equipment which is not a component
part of a television camera shall, whenever possible, be located
in an area outside the courtroom.
B. No artificial
lighting device of any kind shall be employed in connection
with the television camera. With the approval of the court,
modifications and additions to existing courtroom lighting
may be made provided such modifications or additions are installed
and maintained without public expense. Multiple video/audio
feeds may be permitted but must be provided by a video/audio
distribution system, furnished by the media, located outside
IX. A. No more than
one still photographer, using not more than two still cameras
with not more than two lenses for each camera without flash
or other artificial light, shall be permitted to be physically
in the courtroom. Still cameras must not produce distracting
sound and should produce no greater sound than the Leica M
Series Rangefinder camera. Motorized film advance systems
will not be permitted.
B. The photographer
shall be positioned in a place designated by the presiding
judge and remain in that area except when the proceeding is
in recess. Changing of lenses or film will only be done during
X. Only one audio
system for radio broadcast purposes will be permitted in the
courtroom. Audio pickup should be made from existing audio
systems in the courtroom whenever possible. If no technically
suitable audio system exists in the courtroom, microphones
and related wiring shall be permitted but must be unobtrusive
and located in places designated in advance by the presiding
judge. Multiple radio feeds rather than a pooling system may
be permitted but must be provided by an audio distribution
system, provided by the media, located outside the courtroom.
XI. When extended
media coverage is authorized, individual journalists may bring
tape recorders into the courtroom and use them to record proceedings
so long as they do not cause any distraction. Journalists
using tape recorders may sit at any place in the audience
portion of the courtroom, but must keep their tape recorder
on their person at all times. Changing of tape cassettes during
proceedings is not permitted and should only be done during
XII. All camera and
audio equipment must be in position at least 15 minutes before
the start of the proceedings and can only be moved or removed
after the proceedings are over or during a recess. Television
camera persons and still photographers must remain in their
designated area and are not permitted to move about the courtroom.
Television cameras and radio broadcast equipment, once in
position, may not be moved during the proceedings. Movement
by television and still photographers should be held to a
minimum and in no way should be distracting or call undue
attention to the operators.
XIII. Camera and
audio equipment authorized by these guidelines shall not be
operated during a recess in a court proceeding. Extended coverage
in the judicial area of a courthouse or other court facility
is limited to proceedings in the courtroom in the presence
of the presiding judge.
XIV. The dignity
and decorum of the court must be maintained at all times during
extended media coverage activities. Court customs, including
appropriate dress, must be followed.
XV. The confidentiality
of the attorney/client relationship must be protected. Therefore,
there will be no audio recording, radio, television, or tape-recording,
made or broadcast of any conference between attorneys and
their clients, between co-counsel of a client, between counsel
and the presiding judge when held at the bench, or of proceedings
held in chambers. No parabolic microphones shall be used.
Contact: Hon. John Tarlton
Olivier - Clerk of Court
400 Royal Street, Suite 4200
New Orleans, LA 70130-8102