United States v. Richard Scrushy


Criminal Case No. 03-BE-0530-S
 
 


Attending the Trial


  • Where is the case being heard?
  • What is the schedule?
  • How are courtroom spectator seats assigned?
  • Are seats reserved for members of the media?
  • How will the court's security measures affect spectators?
  • Where can I park?
  • Who can I call if I have a question about attending the proceedings?

  • Where is the case being heard?

    The trial will be held in Courtroom 8 on the 8th floor of the Hugo L. Black U.S. Courthouse, 1729 Fifth Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama. A closed-circuit video feed of the proceedings will be screened in the Jury Assembly Room on the courthouse's first floor. The two rooms collectively seat approximately 300 spectators.

    The courthouse's location in downtown Birmingham is shown on this map; click on the map for a link to driving directions.

    The trial will not be broadcast to the public. The court's Local Rule 83.2 states that "whether or not court is actually in session, there shall be no radio or television broadcasting or taking of photographs in or from the courtrooms or their environs during the progress of, or in connection with, any judicial proceeding . . ."

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    What is the schedule?

    Opening statements were delivered on January 25. Trial days typically begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 or 5:30 p.m., with 60 minutes or less for lunch, and morning and afternoon recesses of 15 minutes each. The trial is expected to run full days Monday through Friday, and is expected to last as long as four months.

    The court's schedule for the conclusion of the case is:
    Tuesday, May 17, at 1:00 p.m. -- court's charge to the jury
    Wednesday, May 18, at 9:00 a.m. -- closing arguments
    Thursday, May 19, at 9:00 a.m. -- court's final charge to the jury and deliberations commence

    Reporters who were issued reserved courtroom seats at the beginning of the trial are reminded to bring their court-issued credentials to claim those seats for these proceedings.

    The trial is not expected to be held on the following dates:
    Monday, February 7
    Friday, February 18
    Monday, February 21
    Wednesday, March 2
    Monday, March 7
    Friday, March 11
    Monday and Tuesday, March 14 and 15
    Friday, March 18, court will adjourn at noon
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 22, 23, 24 and 25
    Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1
    Monday, April 4
    Wednesday, April 6 through Monday, April 11
    Wednesday, April 13, court will begin at 1:00 p.m.
    Monday, April 18, court will begin at 10:00 a.m.
    Wednesday, April 20
    Thursday, April 21, public hearing on defense motion for a judgment of acquittal begins at 9:30 a.m.; trial testimony will begin (if motion is denied or taken under advisement) at 1:30 p.m.
    Friday, April 22, court will adjourn at 2:00 p.m.
    Monday, April 25, court will begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 29
    Monday, May 2
    Friday, May 6, court will adjourn at 12:30 p.m.
    Friday, May 13
    Monday, May 16

    This schedule is subject to change and further updates.

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    How are courtroom spectator seats assigned?

    The court is strongly committed to ensuring that members of the public who wish to attend the proceedings may do so. The trial will be heard in the courthouse's largest courtroom, and a video feed of the proceedings will be screened in the Jury Assembly Room. The two rooms collectively seat approximately 300 spectators.

    Seats for the public in both rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating in the Jury Assembly Room begins when the courthouse opens at 7:30 a.m. Seating in the courtroom begins 45 minutes before the morning session, which will typically begin at 9 a.m. Having a seat for the court's morning session does not guarantee you will have one for the afternoon session.

    Seats may not be reserved in advance by members of the public. You cannot save seats for other spectators. You cannot save a seat for yourself if you leave the courtroom. You cannot save a seat for yourself in the Jury Assembly Room, unless you are leaving the room only briefly, such as to visit the restroom.

    Under the court's December 16, 2004 order, pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 615, potential witnesses are barred from the courtroom and the Jury Assembly Room until after they have testified and are no longer subject to recall to the stand. The order also prohibits potential witnesses from discussing testimony in the case or reading or viewing media reports about the trial.

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    Are seats reserved for members of the media?

    Yes. Please see the media page for more information.

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    How will the court's security measures affect spectators?

    All spectators:

  • Visitors enter the courthouse through the building’s main entrance on the corner of Fifth Avenue North and 18th Street North. You will be required to walk though a magnetometer and your bags will be screened by an x-ray machine. Please allow plenty of time to pass through security.

  • You will not be allowed to enter the courthouse with cameras, camera cell phones, recording devices or weapons such as firearms, knives, pocket knives, scissors, letter openers, screw drivers, mace and pepper spray.

  • To maintain pedestrian access to the courthouse, loitering on the raised sculpture plaza in front of the courthouse (visible in this photograph) is prohibited.

  • Spectators in the courtroom:

  • All courtroom spectators must be seated prior to the start of a court session, including after the lunch break. Once the session begins, spectators who leave the courtroom are not allowed to reenter until the next break in the proceedings. You cannot save seats for yourself or other spectators.

  • Personal electronic devices -- including laptops, cellular telephones, and wireless e-mail devices -- are prohibited in the courtroom. The court has no facilities to store these devices. Camera cell phones may not be brought into the building.

  • Spectators are not allowed to eat, drink, chew gum or read newspapers in the courtroom. Talking during the proceedings is prohibited.

  • You should never enter the well of the courtroom, which is marked by a short rail in front of the first spectator bench.
  • Spectators in the Jury Assembly Room:

  • You may come and go from the Jury Assembly Room at any time. You cannot save a seat for another spectator. You cannot save a seat for yourself, unless you are leaving the room only briefly, such as to visit the restroom.

  • You may bring personal electronic devices -- including laptops, cell phones and wireless e-mail devices -- into the Jury Assembly Room, but cell phones may not be used in the Jury Assembly Room because of the prohibition on broadcasting or transmitting the trial. Camera cell phones may not be brought into the building.

  • Spectators may bring food and drink into the Jury Assembly Room.

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    Where can I park?

    All parking is prohibited on the courthouse side of Fifth Avenue North and 18th Street North. There are metered spaces on the opposite sides of those streets. The closest public off-street parking locations are listed on this map of the courthouse area.

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    Who can I contact if I have a question about attending the proceedings?

    Contact the court’s Chief Deputy Clerk Sharon L. Harris, at 205-278-1717 or Sharon_Harris@alnd.uscourts.gov.

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