Sketch Artist Policy of the
U.S. Courts of the D.C. Circuit
(November 2013)


In the interest of informing the public about the work of the Courts, the U.S. Courts of the D.C. Circuit welcome sketch artists covering legal matters coming before the Courts. To assist sketch artists who cover cases in the E. Barrett Prettyman courthouse and the William B. Bryant Annex, the sketch artist policy for the Courts is noted below:

Cell Phones, Laptops, and Other Electronic Devices – Sketch artists who are credentialed by the U.S. Courts of the D.C. Circuit or who are credentialed by another federal or D.C. government entity, including the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress, a federal agency, or the D.C. government are allowed to bring electronic devices with camera and recording capabilities into the courthouse and annex.

Access to Hearings and Trials – All electronic devices must be turned off, kept off, and put away while in a courtroom. Any violation of this policy may result in the imposition of contempt sanctions against the violator individually, and, if attending in the capacity of an employee or agent, against the employer or principal. Anyone who violates this policy will be prohibited from entering the courthouse and annex with electronic devices in the future. The procedures for access to hearings and trials vary by Court:

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit – In almost all cases, oral arguments before an appellate panel are open to the media and public. Sketch artists must contact the Clerk’sOffice well in advance of the scheduled argument to request seating in the courtroom. The Court will accommodate all requests unless the panel, for reasons of security, decides otherwise. Additionally, if the Court receives multiple requests, space considerations may limit the number of sketch artists that can be accommodated. Contact Marilyn Sargent, Chief Deputy Clerk, by phone at 202.216.7300 or by email at Marilyn_Sargent@cadc.uscourts.gov.

U.S. District Court for D.C. – In almost all cases, matters before a district judge are open to the media and public. To ensure sketch artists secure appropriate seating, especially in highprofile cases, sketch artists should contact Lisa Klem, Administrative Assistant to the Chief Judge, by phone at 202.354.3320 or by email at Lisa_Klem@dcd.uscourts.gov.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for D.C. – In almost all cases, matters before the bankruptcy judge are open to the media and public. To ensure sketch artists secure appropriate seating, especially in high-profile cases, sketch artists should contact Lisa Klem, Administrative Assistant to the Chief Judge, by phone at 202.354.3320 or by email at Lisa_Klem@dcd.uscourts.gov.


Use of Cameras and Recording and Videotaping Devices - The use of any device that can photograph, record, or videotape court proceedings is prohibited except in connection with ceremonial and educational functions of the Courts (naturalization proceedings, investitures of new judges, memorial services, portrait presentation ceremonies, etc.). Videotaping, recording, or photographing court ceremonies and educational programs may be permitted with prior approval of the chief judge or court unit executive of the sponsoring Court and under such conditions as he or she may prescribe. Any violation of this policy may result in the imposition of contempt sanctions against the violator individually, and, if attending in the capacity of an employee or agent, against the employer or principal. Anyone who violates this policy will be prohibited from entering the courthouse and annex with electronic devices in the future.