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  • Will Video Kill the Trial Courts’ Star? How “Hot” Records Will Change the Appellate Process

    Recent innovations in technology have allowed appellate courts unprecedented access to information from the lower courts that previously was not available. While this access can allow appellate judges to connect to the record on a deeper, more thorough level, it also leaves them open to charges that they are overstepping their traditional deference to the lower courts’ factfinder function. What happens to such deference when the appellate courts have access to a “multimedia” record that mimics the first-hand experience of the trial judge? Should traditional appellate deference to cold records be ignored in an age of hot records? Or should such evidence be more appropriately introduced before a jury acting as the factfinder?