Monday, August 6, 2012

This and That in Court Tech – August, 2012

News about US Federal Court Cameras Pilot, CITOC E-Filing Webinar, Why Jurors Go Online, Courts and Big Data, and some resources for planning for Microsoft Windows 8


US Federal Courts Cameras Pilot Update

The US Federal Courts reported via press release on July 31, 2012:

“’A year after the federal Judiciary began its cameras in the courtroom pilot program in 14 federal trial courts, 39 court proceedings are available online for public viewing on the Judiciary’s website. The video recordings and brief summaries of the cases are organized by court, subject matter, and procedural posture. The posted videos have been viewed over 28,000 times since the pilot began in July 2011. 
The 14 courts volunteered for the pilot and were selected by the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management (CACM) in consultation with the Federal Judicial Center, which is studying the 3-year pilot. 
“’From the start of this digital video pilot program, the CACM Committee has emphasized the importance of public access,” said Judge Julie A. Robinson (D. Kan.), CACM committee chair. “It is encouraging that so many civil proceedings are now available online for the public to see, as if they were in the courtroom themselves.” 
Participating courts follow guidelines (pdf) endorsed by the Conference. The courts record the proceedings themselves; proceedings may not be recorded without the approval of the presiding judge and the parties in the case. The pilot includes only civil cases; photographing or broadcasting criminal proceedings in federal courts has been prohibited under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 53 since 1946. 
The Judicial Conference has authorized each appellate court to decide whether to permit broadcasting of oral arguments. Two courts of appeal—the Second and the Ninth—allow such coverage.’”
CITOC Offers E-Filing Webinar

The Court Information Technology Officer Consortium (CITOC) Education Sub-Committee host its third webinar for CITOC members.
The webinar will be Friday, August 31st, at 2:00pm EST/11:00am PST, and will be hosted by Jorge Basto of the Judicial Council of Georgia. 
The topic will be:  Electronic Filing in the Court 
The term “eFiling” has been defined and interpreted in many different ways by both vendors and courts in Georgia. Numerous attempts at launching a program to accomplish eFiling for our courts have been started but issues with maintaining interest, viable funding models and system adoption usually cause these projects to wane. The Administrative Office of the Courts is working to design a feasible eFiling solution that is scalable for all courts throughout the State. 
In this webinar the Georgia Courts will discuss their findings to date and their current plans for statewide eFiling. 
As CITOC membership is organizational and not individual, you are allowed to invite anyone in your Court to participate in this webinar. While the presentation will be mostly geared toward CIOs, you are encouraged to invite non-technical policy makers as well. 
For information about joining CITOC click here.

Why Do Jurors Go Online?

Our good friend, Judge David Harvey in New Zealand has written an interesting post on his blog about the reasons why jurors might decide to go online.  He notes:
"The closed system of the jury trial, contained by strict rules which discourage initiative and activism by the jurors, is premised on the assumption that jurors will accept the authority of the court to guide them and are willing to base their decision only on what the lawyer present does not mesh with the experience and values of the digital native juror or perhaps even many digital immigrants."
Courts and “Big Data”

Our esteemed colleague at the NCSC, Dr. Ingo Keilitz has posted an interesting article on courts and the new area of IT known as “Big Data”.  He asks the following question: “What if we could tap into the massive amount of data that is entered and stored in a court’s case management system, and other data systems like states’ criminal justice repositories?”

For more go to his blog at:

Planning for Windows 8

There is a lot of pro and con discussion regarding the impending release of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8 that has been recently released to manufacturers for inclusion in new personal and tablet computers.  And according to our blog statistics almost 90% of our Court Technology Bulletin readers are using some manner of Windows; it behooves us all to begin thinking about it.

Some articles and online resources that might be useful are:
For those who dislike change...
Our advice is that if you haven’t upgraded to Windows 7, do it now!  And if you have a favorite Windows 8 article that you would like to share please send us a comment below.

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