Tuesday, May 7, 2013

This and That in Court Technology – May, 2013

Lots of news for our court technology friends...


Pennsylvania Courts, Libraries Join to Promote Greater Understanding of Judicial System

Press Release – April 29, 2013

Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille announced today that as part of the annual celebration of Law Week, traditionally held the first week of May, the Supreme Court has partnered with the Pennsylvania Library Association to help citizens better understand the Commonwealth’s judicial system.

As part of the program, Chief Justice Castille recently sent a letter to Pennsylvania’s librarians, acquainting them with educational materials the Court has produced to explain the judiciary to the media, teachers and others.  The letter included copies of the Court’s brochure, “A Citizen’s Guide,” with the suggestion that libraries display the brochures prominently during Law Week.  Chief Justice Castille also encouraged libraries to play the judiciary’s informational video for library patrons and touted the wealth of information about the judiciary that can be found on the Unified Judicial System (UJS) website.

The court’s video can be found on the UJS website at www.pacourts.us by scrolling to the bottom of the media resources page.

PDF Association Articles

Last week I was doing some more research on the PDF/A standards and came across two great articles.  First is The Legal Case for PDF/A an ISO 19005 standard.   In this article I learned that the TIFF image file format is not an international standard but rather owned by Adobe.  And the second, PDF/A Myths and Legends which points out what I was looking for, that meta-data can be embedded within the document itself.  This creates a powerful tool that allows documents to be disconnected from controlling databases when needed for public consumption and repurposing in the court.  

Two-Factor Authentication

InfoWorld magazine had an interesting article on Two Factor Authentication.  Some of you may have run into this when asked for your cell number to receive a text to verify a new online account you created?  Of course we are interested in this subject in the courts in order to verify identification of persons submitting documents and e-signatures in the courts.  So how many of you have prosecutors and law enforcement officers with officially issued mobile phones?  I bet a bunch and so think about how this can be used in your court?

Congratulations Cornell Legal Information Institute

Last week the twentieth anniversary of the World Wide Web was celebrated with the posting of the first web pages created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.  And what is on the “subject page” for the legal world – our friends at the Cornell University Legal Information Institute which predated the WWW by 7 months.  Congratulations!

CanLII shows Beta

We also learned that the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) has released the new “Beta” user interface to their excellent legal research system.

NIEM is 8 Years Old

And one last anniversary was celebrated at NIEM.gov noting the eighth anniversary of their efforts.

Reminder CITOC 2013 Annual Face-to-Face Meeting

Don’t forget that the 2013 Court Information Technology Officers Consortium Annual Meeting will be held in conjunction with CTC 2013. There will be a welcoming reception on the evening of Sunday, September 15. The formal meeting and presentations will be held September 16. CTC follows September 17-19. Watch the CITOC website for more.  Or better yet, join.

White House Forum on Increasing Access to Justice

Via Press Release: On April 16, 2013, the White House hosted a daylong conference on the cutting-edge innovations to improve citizen access to justice during the difficult economy facing our country.   After opening remarks by Vice President Joseph Biden, Presidential Advisor Valerie Jarrett, and Legal Services Corporation Chairman John Levi, the program focused on two ways in which legal aid providers are creatively addressing the “justice gap.”

The first group of panelists (which included Texas Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, and Connecticut Chief Justice Chase Rogers) discussed various successful methods for enabling government lawyers, corporate in-house counsel, and government attorneys to provide pro bono legal service in their localities.

A second panel discussion (moderated by Legal Services Corporation President Jim Sandman) focused on how technology (like online client intake systems and plain-English pro se pleading forms) can help boost the efficient provision of legal services.

Transcripts and free videos of the information-rich White Forum can be downloaded at:  http://www.lsc.gov/media/in-the-spotlight/lsc-white-house-host-forum-increasing-access-justice.

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