Friday, August 31, 2012

A Lot of This and That in Court Tech – End of August, 2012

There is a lot of court tech news including the E-Courts 2012 program, US Federal Courts revise jury instructions regarding social media,  Navigating the Hazards of E-Discovery manual, E-Notarization in Virginia, location based verification, another court website hacked, two good articles from IJCA Journal, and an award for a CMS in the Catalonia, Spain courts.


E-Courts 2012 Education Program Posted

We have the majority of the E-Courts conference program agenda with speaker bios online now at:
If you are a reader of the CTB you will see that several of the presenter’s projects have been highlighted in the past year including sessions on the Judge’s E-Bench, E-Courts Return on Investment, courts with real e-filing implementations, and we can promise that there are still a few more “surprises” to come.

USA Federal Courts Revises Jury Instructions on Social Media Use

Via press release on August 21, 2012: “A Judicial Conference Committee has updated the model set of jury instructions (pdf) federal judges use to deter jurors from using social media to research or communicate about cases on which they serve. The new guidelines provide detailed explanations of the consequences of social media use during a trial, along with recommendations for repeated reminders of the ban on social media usage.”

Click here to read the full story
Click here to download a copy of the new jury instructions (PDF) 

Navigating the Hazards of E-Discovery – A Manual for Judges in State Courts

The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver has posted online their new manual titled above.  The introduction to the manual is both powerful and interesting.  It states:
“Questions regarding discovery of ESI (electronically stored information) are becoming more and more prevalent in state court litigation. What began as a big-case phenomenon now has the promise of being an every-case phenomenon. ESI includes word processing documents, e-mails, text messages, social media, Twitter, blogs and even voice mail. It also clearly includes technologies yet to be invented or adopted. The question of what is or should be discoverable in that universe of possible ESI is a complex one indeed. Making that decision requires knowledge of the fundamentals of ESI and how discovery of ESI proceeds. What are the litigant's IT systems, if any? How expensive would the requested discovery actually be? What parameters would be reasonable for that discovery?  
All of those questions are ones that may well end up before you, the judge, and YOU are in a position to make the system work well, or to allow it to devolve into near-chaos. Making good decisions requires a foundation of good information. You do not need to be "IT experts," but you do need to understand the fundamentals of ESI and e-discovery.”
To download a copy (PDF) of the manual click here.


On “The Title Review” blog, an article titled “The Case for Electronic Notarization” was posted regarding a new Commonwealth of Virginia statute that went into effect on July 1, 2012.  The new statute authorizes “the signer to be in a remote location and have a document notarized electronically by an e-notary using audio-visual conference technology, webcam”.

The article goes on to ask several interesting questions regarding the risks for the pioneers of this new process.

Location Based Verification

Want to see something creepy but potentially useful?  Check out:

This capability is part of the new HTML5 markup language standard that Microsoft in particular has announced as one of their key future technology foundations.

I have tested this at multiple locations (including Europe and here at the NCSC headquarters as shown on the accompanying graphic) and it has worked each time.  So why bring it up here?  One word: verification.  This technology could potentially be one more tool for identifying the E-filer much as a postmark does on a postal service mailed letter. In particular this could be a tool for self-represented E-filing.  It is something to watch and consider for the future.

More on the technical aspects of this from MSDN Magazine at:

And for fun, Microsoft and Atari are using the technology to bring back some classic arcade games on your browser.

Moscow Russia Court Website Hacked

From the Christian Science Monitor on August 21, 2012: Russian hackers on Tuesday attacked the website of the Moscow court where three members of the Pussy Riot punk band were tried and sentenced to two years in prison for an irreverent protest.

IJCA Journal Publishes Court Technology Articles

Volume 4, No. 2 of the International Journal for Court Administration contains two interesting articles regarding court technology.  They are:

Insights to Building a Successful E-Filing Case Management Service: U.S. Federal Court Experience (PDF) - By J. Michael Greenwood and Gary Bockweg

Technology in Courts in Europe (PDF) - By Hon. Dory Reiling Receives Award

And last, thanks to Google Translate we can share a message from Carlos Jimenez, Head of Strategy and New Programs of IEEE Spain that the General Administration of Justice of the Catalunya has received the 2012 Quality of Justice award for their system.  This “procedural management system” enables fully guided electronic processing from initial filing to archiving.


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  3. Interesting. I wonder if this will have an impact on electronic discovery?