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Jury Evidence Presentation System (JERS)

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee uses the Jury Evidence Recording System (JERS).  JERS allows a jury, during deliberation, to view electronic copies of exhibits received into evidence on a monitor in the jury room.  The copies of the exhibits on JERS are not the official court record.  Parties are responsible for ensuring that the copies of the exhibits on JERS are identical to the exhibits received into evidence.  The Court may also use JERS to manage exhibits in non-jury proceedings.

JERS is not an official repository for evidence.  Local Rule 43..3, (Exhibits) states:

At the conclusion of a trial or proceedings, the party offering such exhibits shall retain custody of them and be responsible to the Court for preserving them in their condition as of the time admitted until any appeal is concluded or the time for appeal has expired. The party retaining custody shall make such exhibits available to opposing counsel for use in preparation of an appeal and be responsible for their safe transmission to the appellate court, if required.

A training session on the use of this equipment can be requested through the courtroom deputy. 


Using JERS

How to Submit Electronic Exhibit Files

Electronic evidence files should be provided on a USB drive, DVD, or CD.

Note: Links to cloud storage such as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. for exhibit download will not be accepted.


Requirements for Exhibit File Types

All electronic evidence must be provided using the following formats: 

  • Documents and Photographs: .pdf, .jpg, .bmp, .tif, .gif
  • Video and Audio Recordings: .avi, .wmv, .mpg, .mp3, .mp4, .wma, .wav, .3gpp

Note: Proprietary video formats that do not meet the above file requirements may not be submitted and must be converted prior to submission.


Exhibit Formatting Instructions for Batch Importing
Exhibit files can be formatted in a manner that permits them to be batch imported into the JERS system. The methods are described below:
Regarding the file size of electronic evidence, individual files should not exceed 500MB. If possible, exhibits approaching or exceeding this size limit should be separated into multiple files. Note, PDF documents can often be reduced significantly in size by using tools such as Adobe's "Reduce File Size" feature. Images can be significantly reduced in file size by lowering its resolution or dimensions, usually with minimal affect to viewing quality.

A. File Naming Method

  • All files are provided on a single storage device such as a CD, DVD, or USB drive.
  • Using any software or method, exhibit files are renamed using a naming convention simliar to: (exhibit number)-(exhibit part)_(exhibit description).(file extension)
  • The use of the "underscore" character is required when an optional description of the exhibit is included and cannot be used elsewhere in the exhibit name.
  • Example listing of valid exhibit file names: "1-a_photograph.jpg", "12_2009 Tax Statement.pdf", "35d.pdf", "12(a)_camera footage.wmv"

A sample listing of exhibit files using the File Name method can be viewed here.

  • File name length is limited to 255 characters inclusive of the file extension.

B. Indexed File Method

  • All files are provided on a single storage device such as a CD, DVD, or USB drive.
  • Along with the exhibit files, a text delimited index file named Exhibits.txt is also required.
  • The Exhibits.txt file must contain the following "pipe" delimited layout:
    Exhibit Number(optional Sub-Part) | Exhibit Description | Exhibit File Name (must match file name on disk)  (a sample Exhibits.txt file can be viewed here)
  • Maximum number of characters for each section of the pipe delimited Exhibits.txt file are as follows:
    • Exhibit Number - 15 characters
    • Optional Exhibit Sub-Part - 15 characters
    • Exhibit Description - 200 characters
    • Exhibit File Name - 300 characters