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Montana Federal Court Livestreams a Hearing

By Zach Klein, FTC intern

The District of Montana today livestreamed a hearing in a years-long dispute between Exxon Mobil and AECOM Energy (19-107), offering rare public insight into this high-profile legal battle.

The hearing concerned contractual disagreements between the companies, as well as allegations of negligence and fraud. The outcome will likely hinge on the interpretation of contract terms, expert testimony and legal definitions of negligence and liability.

Though the judiciary since Sept. 22, 2023, has sanctioned live audio for district court proceedings, this is the first such proceeding we were able to identify ahead of time and listen to.

The livestream was seamless.

Since this approach allows broader access to the judicial process, engaging a wider audience in real time, it sets a positive precedent for other courts to adopt similar transparency measures (and should of course be expanded to include federal trials, civil and criminal).

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