Editor’s note: the author was invited by Judge Albright last week to tour the newly renovated Waco courtroom #1.
Anyone who is familiar with the fortunes of Waco, Texas over the past few years will recognize the remarkable transformation of the city in most every respect. This is often attributed to Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer-Upper” fame.
The legal world has its own version of a “fixer-upper” success story in Waco, and it has nothing to do with any renovation television series.
From Sleepy to Savvy
With the arrival of Judge Alan D. Albright a little over two years ago, the Waco division of the Western District of Texas began its own transformation in every respect. Before Judge Albright’s arrival, it would be fair to have described the Waco Division as a relatively sleepy, backwater court with a docket only occasionally punctuated by notable cases. Most of the telephone and audio-visual resources of the courthouse dated from the 1980s, and was, in many cases, scarcely operable, at best.
Now, the Waco Division stands as the number one patent litigation venue in the United States, with the most civil cases (of any nature) of any court in the Western District of Texas. With the dramatic increase in raw numbers of cases in the Waco Court, and especially the prevalence of highly complex cases with hearings and trials involving high-level audio-visual presentations, came the Waco Federal Courthouse’s need for its own fixer-upper projects.
Ready for Anything
Under Judge Albright’s direction, the courthouse’s just-completed technological renovation now brings the physical facilities in line with the demands of the cases that are now the norm in Waco. New or upgraded features include new generation, fully integrated digital A/V systems, with ports for all A/V type inputs, new projection displays and monitors for courtroom at-large and individual jury, witness and counsel monitors, upgraded video conference and telephonic systems, new document cameras, courtroom cameras, and a bench monitor and outbound display system for tie-in to all A/V outlets. The system allows for seamless integration of in-person and remote video conference participants.
“I am very pleased that our court now provides parties, counsel, jurors, witnesses and the public with technology resources to accommodate any need that is likely to arise in complex cases, such as our many patent infringement cases,” Judge Albright said.
Simply stated: the Waco Courthouse’s telephonic, audio and video capabilities are now equal to that of any courthouse in the land.
Images courtesy of David G. Henry