Federal Judge Allows Webcast of Bank Trial | Courthouse News Service
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Federal Judge Allows Webcast of Bank Trial

NEW YORK (CN) - Despite Deutsche Bank's objections, a federal judge granted Courtroom View Network's request to provide gavel-to-gavel Internet video coverage of E*Trade Bank's lawsuit against the German bank.

E*Trade claims Deutsche Bank breached contract and unjustly enriched itself in selling Ganis Credit Corp. to E*Trade in 2002 and its subsidiary, Deutsche Recreational Assets Funding Corp. in 2003.

E*Trade did not object to third-party CVN's request to Webcast, or "narrowcast" the bench trial to be held before U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet, but Deutsche Bank did object.

Judge Sweet cited several reasons for granting CVN's request. "First, this is a bench trial," he wrote, so coverage would not affect jurors. "Further, this is not a high-profile case, and will not be broadcast for a general audience. Thus, the 'impact upon a witness of the knowledge that he is being viewed by a vast audience' is not an issue. (The citation is to Estes v. Texas, 381 U.S. 532 (1965) at 547.) "Nor will the recording and 'narrowcasting' of the trial place a significant additional burden upon the court." CVN will use a single stationary camera that will be turned off when proceedings are closed to the public. "Finally, CVN's coverage will be gavel-to-gavel, ameliorating concerns with regard to sensationalized or selective coverage."

CVN is a subscription news service "available to any member of the public, (though) most subscribers are members of the legal community, and use CVN's coverage for professional and educational reasons," Judge Sweet wrote.

"CVN asserts that it has covered over 200 courtroom proceedings throughout the country, and has never had a judge terminate its coverage or remove any of its personnel from the courtroom because of any concern that the presence of its 'small video camera' or CVN staff interfered with the proceedings or the parties' ability to conduct a fair trial."

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