Thursday, March 13, 2014

This and That in Court Technology – March, 2014

Yes, it’s time for another post on news and notes regarding court tech.

FACT Opens Nominations for Top 10 Websites Award

We heard from our friends at the Forum on the Advancement of Court Technology (FACT) that they have issued a call for their annual website awards to be presented at the NACM Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona this summer.  For more including judging criteria go to:

Free Online Google Course – Making Sense of Data

Thanks to Hugo Javier via the FACT LinkedIn group we learned about the above titled free online course being presented by Google that will run from March 18-April 4, 2014.  The website provides the following description:
Do you work with surveys, demographic information, evaluation data, test scores, or observation data? Are you interested in making the data you collect more useful by organizing it, analyzing it, and applying it in different ways? 
This self-paced, online course is intended for anyone who wants to learn more about how to structure, visualize, and manipulate data. This includes student, educators, researchers, journalists, and small business owners.
US State Legislative Court Tech News

Via Bill Raftery at our sister Gavel to Gavel blog we learned:

1. The Chief Justice of Maine, the Hon. Leigh Saufley called for the legislature to support a $15 million bond to acquire and implement E-filing in the state.  According to an article in “The Bangor Daily News” posted on February 25, 2014:
“I know that I don’t have to tell you, the Maine Legislature, that the public deserves electronic access to its government,” Saufley told the joint assembly of the House and Senate. “I can go online from anywhere and find the pending bills, the sponsors and committee assignments, the status of those bills, both in the committee and on the floor, the language of proposed amendments, committee hearing dates, and all written testimony. 
“We seek nothing less for Maine people’s access to justice,” she continued. “Case information, schedules and public documents should be easily accessible. And the system must be carefully designed to assure that certain private information, such as Social Security numbers or victims’ addresses, are well protected.”
2. Pennsylvania “Counties are supporting e-storage of documents”

In an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette filed on March 9, 2014 we learned that counties want to move past the state law that “requires that court records be stored and preserved either on paper or using a format such as microfilm”.
“Douglas Hill, executive director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, said his organization has asked Senate leadership to move the bill forward. 
"In the full spectrum of things that counties do, we are always looking for ways where we can provide better service and do it more efficiently and at a lower cost to the taxpayer," he said.”
3. Missouri E-Filing to provide easy access to court documents for public

An article posted on the “” newspaper website summarized Missouri Supreme Court Justice Mary R. Russell’s address to the Missouri Press Association on February 13, 2014. Justice Russell noted that:
"There are two million hits on Casenet each day,” Russell said. “But, that is just one of many tools that is available to you.” 
Russell said access to e-filed court documents is not available from individual computers at this point in time, but public access terminals are available at each county courthouse that has the program implemented. 
Other surrounding Missouri counties that do not have a date determined for the implementation of the program include Webster, Dallas and Polk. 
Russell said easy e-filing access will be available to other counties as funding becomes available. 
“We are having more and more resources available, but the court system has built this program from the ground up ourselves,” she said. “It is a slow process.”
Canada Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeals Examining E-Filing

The Law Times website in Canada posted an article on February 3, 2014 noting that proposed changes in court rules that would “repeal references requiring the filing of certain documents only on paper and instead give parties the option to file either an electronic version or the required number of paper copies.

If a party consents, litigants will be able to serve documents electronically as well.”

The full article provides much more detail.

GreenCourt Reaches Agreement for Georgia E-Filing Portal

Via press release on March 13, 2014:
“The Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia has reached an agreement with Georgia-based GreenCourt Legal Technologies, LLC to develop a statewide electronic filing system that will improve filing efficiency, reduce court costs and increase information access in the courts in the state’s 159 counties. 
In 2011, the State Bar of Georgia’s Board of Governors adopted a resolution on electronic filing that encouraged all stakeholders – filers, clerks and judges – to work together to develop a unified, statewide eFiling system. In 2012, Georgia’s Superior Court Clerks led an effort to define requirements for such an eFiling system. The clerks established a steering committee comprised of representatives from the Judiciary, State Bar, Legislature and Courts to shape the future of eFiling in Georgia."
The Language Independent Mark-up web Editor (LIME) Announced

Thanks to Rob Richards at the Legal Informatics blog and via the Oasis-Open LegalXML LegalDocML technical committee work we learned from Professor Dr. Monica Palmirani:

"I'm happy to announce that LIME, the Language Independent Mark-up Web Editor, now is an open source tool, with MIT license for non-commercial purposes and for non-profit/government/research bodies: 
'The demo permits registration functionality and so to test it with a personal set of documents. 
'The main aim of LIME is to help legal experts to markup legal documents (bill, act, doc, etc.) in Akoma Ntoso without having to know XML. 
'It is possible to import doc, odt, pdf, xml, html, pdf files and to use parsers for detecting the structure and references (especially in Italian and Spanish documents). Lime exports documents in Akoma Ntoso XML, html, pdf, eBook. 
'It permits international features (e.g. English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Romanian) and a high level of customization in the interface organization (button, label, order of the bars, etc.). 
The live demo and download is available at:

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