The Judicial Branch first wants
to thank the news media for their cooperation throughout jury selection in State
of Connecticut vs. Michael Skakel.
With many more news media
organizations expected on a daily basis when evidence begins, the Judicial
Branch wants to reiterate the rules that have been put into place for the
Skakel trial. Your continued and anticipated cooperation is greatly
Copies of these rules will be
distributed on Tuesday, May 7, as reporters/correspondents pick up their ID
tags. Also on May 7, Judicial Branch representatives will meet at 1:30 p.m.
with any members of the media who may wish to discuss any issues pertaining
to media coverage of the trial. The meeting will be held in Courtroom C of
the Norwalk Courthouse.
The rules in place are as
1) Representatives from every
credentialed media organization MUST wear their orange identifying
tag while on court property. Media representatives will be allowed to take
the tag home at the end of the day but must have the tag the next day to
obtain the reserved seat in the press section of the courtroom.
Representatives also may leave the tag with a Judicial Branch media liaison
at the end of the day; the tag will be provided on the next court day to any
authorized member of that credentialed media organization.
The orange tags will be
distributed to credentialed news organizations on May 7; the white tags used
during jury selection will not be accepted.
2) The press section is for
credentialed media, and seating remains on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Credentialed reporters must sit in the press section rather than the public
section, to ensure that the seating plan is properly implemented.
3) Seats in the public section
are available first to members of the public. Non-credentialed reporters may
sit in the public section of the courtroom, if there are spaces after the
public is seated.
4) No talking is to occur in the
courtroom while court is in session. In addition, interviews may not be
conducted in the courtroom.
5) No recording devices are
allowed in the courtroom or courthouse -- this includes any recording
devices on laptop computers.
6) Laptop computers are allowed
into the courtroom and may be used while court is in session, but they must
be battery-driven and may not be plugged into courtroom outlets.
7) Cell phones and beepers will
be allowed into the courthouse and courtroom as long as they are muted while
in the facility.
8) No food or beverages are
allowed in the courthouse.
9) Interviews by ALL
media -- print and electronic -- may be conducted ONLY IN THE MEDIA PEN,
which is behind the courthouse. No interviews may be conducted on the steps,
at the bottom of the steps, or on the sides of the building. This is a
critical element of maintaining order on court property and avoiding unsafe
10) Photographers and camera
operators must take pictures/shoot video from the media pen and remain
behind the barricades.
11) All space in the media pen
belongs collectively to the media. No news organization can lay claim to
specific space in the pen. For example, individual tents may be used, but
that doesn't mean a news organization then controls that area. If no live
shoots are under way and other reporters, correspondents, camera operators,
or photographers want to use that space, then they are entitled to do so.
12) Media organizations whose
satellite trucks are brought into the courthouse parking lot during
non-designated hours, without permission, will lose their credentials to
park in the lot. Credentialed satellite trucks that have met all of the
requirements to park in the courthouse lot will be allowed to the lot
between 7 and 8 a.m. on days when the trial is in session. Any truck that
leaves the lot during the day will not be allowed back onto the property
that day. In addition, trucks may not leave the lot between 4 p.m. and 5:15
p.m., when employees may be leaving. Satellite truck credentials will be
distributed Monday, May 6, and Tuesday, May 7, and must be visibly
displayed. (NOTE: Credentialed trucks will be allowed into the lot on May
6, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.)
13) Employees of all
credentialed media organizations using the media pen should have
identification readily available.
14) The pool arrangement for the
front of the building remains in effect.
15) Each media organization is
responsible for ensuring that all of its employees involved in covering the
trial know these rules. The Judicial Branch reserves the right to revoke a
media organization's credentials in the event of a violation.
16) The Judicial Branch reserves
the right to modify these rules due to unforeseen circumstances.
Please direct any questions
to Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, Communications Manager, at (860)