I have a setup where I stay stationary and the attorneys approach the bench and conduct sidebar issues. My question is does anyone know of a setup where audio can be achieved as well. I had such a hard day the other day with the whispers and paper flipping at sidebar that it was very frustrating. Any suggestions?

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I had Radio Shack wireless headphones that worked for sidebar.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2280521

I had them hooked into the Radio Shack Amplified Listener:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2104057
I use this too and just have the LONG cord so I can use my earphones instead of headphones. The cord is probably 6 feet? Got at Radio shack when I got the amp. I explain it ahead of time and then I move it if I am having issues hearing and they know what I'm doing.
I totally sympathize with you! Sidebars can be very frustrating. Do you work for a particular judge or do you rotate? I work for a judge who always does sidebars at the far end of the bench and I get up and go to a chair that's set up for me. I would much rather make a production out of it and make everyone wait for me to move back and forth than to use a microphone where sometimes you don't know who is talking, or they aren't speaking into the microphone, and you're on another side of the room and can't ask them to speak up without the jury seeing your frustration, etc..

Another judge in our courthouse always does off-the-record sidebars, which is awesome. Of course, there are times when they want to object to a ruling for the record and we do that out of the presence of the jury. Another judge calls us into his office for any on-the-record sidebars. If your judge would be amenable to suggestions, you might want to present some of these options. Good luck!
Easy enough to solve.
I use my Olympus digital record that I keep running all the time at my seat. I have a separate microphone, which is a conference grabber from Radio Shack with an extra long cord from Radio Shack, and that plugs directly into my digital recorder. I then plug my headphones in and, voila, I'm off and running and have a fabulous audio to check later. My digital recorder has a little extra mic plugged into it, so when they start walking toward the bench, I unplug that, plug in my conference grabber and headphones and the judge waits for my thumbs up. Of course he has to push the button and puts it directly in front of their mouths. I always keep the long cord and conference grabber mic set up in my court, but if I'm going to another court, I grab it.
Cindy L.A.

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