Friday, November 16, 2012

This and That in Court Technology – November, 2012

More news from the web-o-sphere on Court Tech.


E-Courts 2012 Conference Coming Soon

We at the NCSC are very excited about the upcoming E-Courts conference.  Innovators from around the country including courts in Florida, New Jersey, California, Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and many more will be presenting.  In addition the leading court commercial firms will all be in attendance with leading sponsors making presentations on their recent projects.

The conference website was recently updated and you can check it out at:

OASIS-Open LegalXML Electronic Court Filing Group to Meet in Las Vegas at E-Courts

Last, the above named group will be holding their annual face-to-face meeting at the Red Rock Conference Hotel on Sunday, December 9, 2012.  The exact location of the meeting will be announced on the group’s web page.

New E-Filing Company Announced

CaseFileXpress announced the acquisition of the former Lexis-Nexis File & Serve system to create File & ServeXpress on November 1, 2012.  Their press release stated:
“File & ServeXpress will have more than 165,000 registered users and 39,000 law firm clients, representing all of the largest 100 law firms in the country.  It will become the largest electronic processor of court filings and document exchanges in the United States, handling more than 45 million document exchanges per year.  The company also will provide a document repository service available for search that includes millions of documents from available jurisdictions, including the Delaware Court of Chancery.”

Legal Services Corporation Recognizes Nebraska Access to Justice

In an announcement on the LSC website, Highlighting Automated Forms Successes: Nebraska Launches Statewide Forms:
Prior to Legal Aid of Nebraska's Access to Justice Automated Forms Project, no automated forms were available for non-lawyers in the state. Pro se litigants could only hand-write forms, "borrow" from unauthorized form providers, or try to get help from other agencies. This made navigating the justice system particularly difficult for low-income Nebraskans who were unable to find a lawyer. 
To address this challenge, Legal Aid of Nebraska partnered with the Nebraska Supreme Court Pro Se Implementation Committee to develop innovative, effective and efficient automated legal documents. The project team took existing form pleadings and automated them using HotDocs; it then applied the Access to Justice Author (A2J Author) guided interface to ensure that the form completion process was interactive and easy for the user. All forms are hosted on LawHelp Interactive, the legal aid community's national automated forms server. 
The end result was impressive. Nebraska now offers full sets of automated forms in major areas of civil litigation impacting low income individuals. According to the program's Final Report, the project's impact was evident almost immediately after its launch:
In the first few weeks of availability, the forms were accessed nearly 1,500 times. Court personnel, including judges, have reported that the forms are being used and are serving to effectively facilitate the cases of pro se litigants. As a results, we have been told that the average processing time of a case for a pro se litigant has been reduced by 50%. Less people are being delayed because their pleading are incomplete or indecipherable. More people are getting access to justice. 
Nebraska was able to produce an impressive collection of forms with a very modest TIG investment ($29,100). In doing so, it raised the bar for cost-effective automated form projects across the country.
NIEM Wayfarer Updated

Tom Carlson wrote recently about enhancements to the NIEM Wayfarer system that assists the justice system in finding and using the best “XML tag” for their data sharing projects.  He added feature that tracks user searches to better enable ranking of elements in the search results.  The new capability has two sections:

1) Anytime someone clicks on a search result, the database increases that element's score for each of the terms in the search query. Over time, this will build up a data store of the elements are mostly likely to be clicked given various search terms. Note that one doesn't explicitly have to do anything other than click on results as usual.

2) Additionally, there's a button on the element's page that lets the user explicitly boost that element's ranking thus identifying that this particular element is a very good match for the search query.

The search page now has the ability to sort elements on this "relevance to search terms" basis. Matching elements are also highlighted in a variety of ways. I'm still working out which to use in the end. While I was in there, I also added the ability to sort results by prefix as some have asked for in the past.

The NIEM Wayfarer URL is:

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