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Detailed Guide: Wisconsin

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Allows Cameras? Yes (with notice)
Exceptions: None

Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes
Allows Cell Phones to Record Video? Yes (with permission)

Extended coverage is permitted, but the presiding judge retains the authority to determine whether coverage should occur and, upon a finding of cause, to prohibit coverage. The trial judge should be notified of intended media coverage at least three days before the proceeding and retains the power, authority, and responsibility to control the conduct of proceedings, including the authority over the inclusion or exclusion of the media and the public at particular proceedings or during the testimony of particular witnesses under the experimental and permanent guidelines. A presumption of validity attends objections to coverage of participants in cases involving the victims of crimes (including sex crimes), police informants, undercover agents, juveniles, relocated witnesses, divorce, trade secrets, and motions to suppress evidence. An individual juror may be photographed only after his or her consent has been obtained. Photographs of the jury are permitted in courtrooms where the jury is part of the unavoidable background, but close-ups, which enable jurors to be clearly identified, are prohibited. Audio coverage of conferences between an attorney and a client, co-counsel, or attorneys and the trial judge is also prohibited.

Three television cameras and three still photographers, using not more than 2 cameras each, are allowed in the courtroom to cover a proceeding. Priority is given to one of the three cameras to broadcast a proceeding in its entirety. Disputes regarding a court’s application of the media coverage rules in Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Chapter 61 are treated as administrative matters, which may not be appealed.

Under the Wisconsin media coordinator system, members of the media volunteer to facilitate electronic media access to the state’s courts.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court provides recorded oral argument audio on its website and live-streamed arguments on its YouTube Channel.

Links: Authority
Chapter 61, Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Governing Electronic Media and Still Photography Coverage of Judicial Proceedings

Links: Other
Wisconsin Media Information-Coordinators List
Wisconsin News Reporters’ Legal Handbook
Wisconsin Supreme Court Oral Argument Livestream
Wisconsin Supreme Court YouTube

Last edited: December 13, 2022