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Utah courts attempt to restrict divorce coverage

No one can dispute that reality TV has become tremendously popular in recent years. And along with the rise of reality TV has come an increased interest in high-profile news events and coverage. Some argue that courtroom programming is little more than entertainment and spectacle for viewers, while others contend that providing the public with live courtroom coverage is an important educational tool. Now, the Utah judicial system is voicing where it stands on the issue of potentially allowing cameras in family law litigation.

The Utah State Judicial Council ruled last year to not only open state courtrooms to TV cameras but also allow everything from laptops to smart phones. Now, however, that very same council is attempting to restrict the use of video cameras in family law courtrooms across the state. The Council is proposing that the change in policy is intended to protect the rights of litigants, but others argue that discouraging the use of video cameras in divorce cases is counterproductive to encouraging public access and knowledge. The measure that the judicial Council is proposing would force individuals seeking to record family law proceedings to prove to the judge why they should be allowed, whereas judges currently have to justify why court proceedings should not be recorded.

One family law attorney that is especially interested in filming court cases recommended several measures to protect the privacy of litigants, but so far only one of his requests to videotape court proceedings have been granted by the court system.

Whether or not their divorce case is filmed, everyone has the right to a fair trial. And often times that means obtaining the representation of an experienced and reliable family law attorney.


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