District Court Judge James Doyle was honored Saturday night in Lincoln at the Nebraska State Bar Foundation’s annual Fellows Dinner.
He received the Bar Foundation’s Legal Pioneer Award, which is presented to a lawyer who has made innovative contributions to the improvement of justice.
Nebraska Court of Appeals Judge Frankie Moore said, “Tonight we honor Judge Doyle for identifying and resolving a barrier to justice.”
Doyle was appointed to the 11th Judicial District Court in 2001. He is a native Nebraskan, who received his undergraduate degree from UNL College of Engineering, Science and Technology in 1978. Then in 1981, he earned his Juris Doctorate from UNL College of Law.
In his acceptance remarks, Doyle noted, “During the early days of the Covid pandemic, the Dawson County Courthouse was required to operate under the Two Rivers Public Health Department’s pandemic mandates. This meant very few members of the public could attend and observe court operations.”
In response to physical distancing required by pandemic protocols, Doyle had the novel idea of using YouTube for court proceedings. He contacted the Nebraska Supreme Court’s Technology Division to assist in setting up a YouTube channel. This pilot program was approved by the Nebraska Supreme Court.
“Utilizing YouTube has made it more convenient for families and friends – some who live out of state - to attend a complex criminal trial without the expense of traveling to Lexington. He is an innovator, and this pilot program has provided many benefits to the public and the media,” Judge Moore said.
Doyle is the only judge in the State of Nebraska who broadcasts his court proceedings live via YouTube. By displaying the courtroom and its legal proceedings online, Doyle is creating greater transparency for the public.
Headquartered in Lincoln, the Bar Foundation is dedicated to serving the citizens of Nebraska and the legal profession through the administration and funding of innovative programs directed at the improvement of the administration of justice and the fulfillment of the American vision of equal justice for all.