Thursday, April 10, 2008

Access to Justice 2.0 is Announced

We received this announcement from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Center for Access to Justice and Technology:


What’s special about 2.0?

Several enhancements, many of which were suggested by A2J Author™ users, have been included in Version 2.0. While some of the improvements in 2.0 face the pro se users of the A2J Guided Interviews™, most of the improvements make the tool more efficient and easier for the authoring community to use.
New Features for the authors of A2J Guided Interviews™ include the ability to:

  • set multiple variables in a single condition;
  • round and truncate numbers;
  • script macros for sign text and field labels;
  • script functions in either lowercase or uppercase letters;
  • add unlinked questions to an interview;
  • add or insert automatically numbered questions without
  • disturbing the existing numbering scheme; and,
  • for replicated interviews, clear all audio file references if they do not apply to the current interview.
Developers will also find that it is much easier to move between screens in the program. Many other fixes and formatting changes will make authoring of A2J Guided Interviews more efficient for developers. Developers will be able to sort text and number lists making selection from a multiple choice list easier for the pro se user.
The most prominent new 2.0 feature aimed at the user is an alternative end graphic. This feature provides the developer the ability to exchange the traditional courthouse graphic for an alternative graphic designated by the author. With the increasing popularity of the program as a means to conduct online web intake, programs will now be able to designate a graphic more in tune with the purpose of the interview.
While we are very proud to get you version 2.0, we are already hard at work on version 3.0, which promises to eclipse any of the previous versions of the software. Version 3.0 will bring video and graphics into the A2J Author interface and will deliver the import question(s) function.

Want to learn more?

Attend the next A2J Author Developer Call! We will discuss in more detail the new features and functions of A2J Author 2.0 and components of the A2J Author 2.0 Starter-Kit.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008, 10:00 a.m. (CDT)
Register for the Developer Call here:

Ready to upgrade to 2.0?
A2J Author™ 2.0 can be downloaded at the following location:

Is the “national server” (NPADO) upgraded with 2.0?

YES. The National Public Automated Documents Online server has been upgraded with A2J Viewer 2.0, the viewer through which all of your A2J Guided Interviews will be launched on the web. Version 2.0 of the “Viewer” should not have any adverse effect on A2J Guided Interviews created in either A2J Author 2.0 or any previous version of A2J Author.

Please be ALERT to the following:

While the A2J Viewer has been tested on the development server, we do not know exactly which of the thousands of interviews uploaded to the national server are in production. It is impossible for us to test all “live” interviews on the production server. Therefore, as introduction of new software always presents some risks, we recommend that you take some time this week, or as soon as possible, to test run those interviews which are in production. It would be worth everyone’s peace of mind, and very helpful to us, to at least check those interviews that receive a lot of traffic. Please notify our office immediately if you notice any inconsistencies, by phone (312-906-5328) or email (
Interested in attending A2J Author 2.0 Training?

A number of training sessions have been scheduled for the next couple of weeks. Each training session will include a new user component and an advanced component. You are welcome to attend the entire session or the first or second half. Each session will be held at 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. (CST). The agenda for each session is as follows:

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (CST)
The first hour: New User Introduction to A2J Author 2.0
*Navigating A2J Author
*Adding, Inserting & Cloning Questions
*Designing Questions in A2J Author
*Adding an Alternative Graphic

1:00 p.m. – 1:05 p.m. (CST)
5-minute break

1:05 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (CST)
The second hour: “Stay after class” to learn advanced features
*Writing Conditions in 2.0
*Working with the “A2J Step” Program Variable
*Using Macros to Set Multiple Choice Labels
*Other New Features Q&A

SESSION #1 - April 9, 2008, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (CST)
Go here to register:
SESSION #2 - April 11, 2008, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (CST)
Go here to register:
SESSION #3 - April 15, 2008, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (CST)
Go here to register:
SESSION #4 - April 16, 2008, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (CST)
Go here to register:

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

North Dakota Judicial Branch Issues RFP

The State of North Dakota, Unified Judicial Branch issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 for a statewide implementation of a statewide Case Management Systems (CMS) to replace the exisiting Unified Court InformationSystem application.  Proposals are due on May 21, 2008.  To download the RFP and related documents go to:

New CMS Makes Strides in California Courts

A press release from the Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts describes progress on their CMS project:

New Case Management System Makes Strides in California Courts

San Francisco – The Superior Court of San Joaquin County yesterday became the most recent trial court in California to launch the California Court Case Management System (CCMS), a new technology initiative aimed at modernizing the state judicial branch and promoting information sharing among courts and other justice system agencies.

CCMS already has been launched in Orange, Sacramento, San Diego, and Ventura Counties. Sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), CCMS will enable all trial courts to use one application for all case categories.

The Superior Court of San Joaquin County is the first to use the system for all case types starting on day one, including civil, small claims, probate, and mental health case types.

By the end of 2012, all 58 superior courts will be using CCMS to provide better service to the public and enhance sharing of information with justice partners such as the Department of Justice and the 
Department of Child Support Services.

History of Case Management System

California’s 58 superior courts are currently using about 70 different case management systems, from traditional paper filing systems to customized software programs.

In 2001, an assessment showed that a number of courts were facing critical needs because of outdated systems, deficient technical support, the inability to meet legislative and reporting requirements, and the high cost of maintenance. With the approval of the Judicial Council, the AOC launched the CCMS project a year later to address these concerns.

A primary goal of the CCMS project is to make the courts “venue transparent,” giving court users and the public the ability to conduct business from any location in California. This project supports the Judicial Council’s goal to modernize state courts and to establish statewide technology initiatives that better manage court operations and resources.

For more information on CCMS, see the California Courts Web site: