Friday, December 19, 2014

This and That in Court Technology – December, 2014

Nevada Chief Justice Mark Gibbons
Notes and article links about E-Courts, Wearable Evidence in courts, a settlement about inaccurate court data in a credit bureau, monitor twisting, smartphone driver’s licenses, a “Moneyball” approach to crime prosecution, E-filing at Michigan appellate courts, the Texas Bar online legal education website, Ms. Sharon Nelson, and upcoming conferences in this month's This and That.


E-Courts Session Videos Available Online

Again we want to thank everyone for attending a great E-Courts 2014 conference earlier this month in Las Vegas, Nevada.  And for those of you may not have been able to make it to the conference you can view the education program video online at:

I also want to acknowledge Chief Justice Mark Gibbons address to the gathering.  He noted Nevada’s ongoing technology efforts including the goal of installing video conferencing in every courtroom in the state.  Another noteworthy accomplishment is the creation of their new Court of Appeals and the open process of streaming the selection process online.  This is system transparency that governments around the world can learn from.

Data (Evidence) from Wearables in Court

From the Wired Magazine Gadget Lab blog we learned:
“Last month, data from a wearable (technology) was entered as courtroom evidence for the first time. The case involved a Calgary woman making a personal injury claim, following a car accident four years ago. Once a personal trainer, her lawyers have submitted Fitbit to show that her lifestyle has changed dramatically: Her activity levels have since fallen below average for women in a similar demographic.”

The article continues:  “The key is authentication: Data must be legitimate, accurate, and related to the party in question. New technologies always undergo extra scrutiny, but if an attorney can prove those three criteria have been met, then wearable data is admissible. And there’s the catch. Wearables, by their very nature, can easily be taken off, worn by others, or jostled to create false readings. Thus, wearable data might be easy to undermine.”
To read the whole article click here.

Hmmm… digital authentication, where I have I read about that before?

Soutter v. TransUnion, LLC Case No. 3:10-CV-514 (E.D. Va.)

A while back we had been contacted about this class action lawsuit against the TransUnion credit bureau ( and recently learned that the matter had settled in December, 2013.

The suit claimed:
“(T)hat TransUnion’s procedures for obtaining information from Virginia General District Court or Virginia Circuit Court civil court records did not adequately capture information about events subsequent to a judgment, such as satisfaction or dismissal of the judgment. As a consequence, Plaintiff alleges that TransUnion issued inaccurate credit reports about certain Virginia consumers, supposedly in violation of Sections 168le(b), 1681i, 1681n and 16810 of the FCRA."
For reference please see:  - Page 1 of the Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement
According to this article from December, 2013:
“Soutter had claimed that a copy of her credit report that she had obtained from TransUnion showed in 2008 that it was wrongly reporting a judgment against her in state court in Virginia, even though the court had set aside that judgment earlier that error because it was wrongly entered, according to her amended complaint filed March 2011. 
The proposed  settlement includes a $1.4 million cash component, from which proposed class members can make claims for payments, and the plaintiffs’ attorneys can obtain their fees according to the motion”.

So the question for our court friends - has this resulted in requests for increased use of electronic records and more important, for subsequent information regarding updates in judgments?

You've Been Using Your Monitor Wrong

We wrote earlier about designing systems for using the newer wide-format 16:9 monitors.  But this article argues that we should “flip it sideways”.  I tried to test this out but my second side monitor is still the older 4:3 format.

Iowa to Launch Smartphone Driver's License

The Des Moines Register reports that sometime in 2015 the Iowa Department of Transportation will “soon be able to use a mobile app on their smartphones as their official driver’s license”.

The article continues:
“"Having this really allows people to protect their identity," he added, suggesting the technology could be expanded for other types of state licenses. 
Iowa is already one of more than 30 states that allow motorists to show electronic proof of insurance during a traffic stop. Rather than digging through clutter in your glove compartment for an insurance card, you can simply hand the law enforcement officer your mobile phone.”
For courts the app will very likely include the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators 2D bar code (humorously shown in this sample from showing a ‘sample’ driver’s license for the Phoenix Suns NBA basketball team gorilla mascot) for scanning by a law enforcement officer’s e-Citation system.

E-Filing at Michigan Supreme Court and Court of Appeals

We received a press release from ImageSoft regarding the implementation of E-filing and E-Service at the Michigan Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.  The release said:
“For the next several weeks, the use of TrueFiling is limited to a test group of filers at both courts, but following a successful test run, it is slated to be available to all filers on January 5, 2015.  Electronic filing in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals is currently voluntary, but the courts may decide to make it mandatory at some point in the future. Other than paying the statutory filing fees when applicable, there is no additional cost to the filer to use TrueFiling. (There are no transaction charges or credit card processing fees charged to filers.)”
Texas Bar Law-Related Legal Education Website

We recently learned about the excellent website from the Law-Related Education (LRE) Department of the State Bar of Texas.  Their goal is “to provide resources that help teachers inspire and engage their students in the pursuit of civics education”.  The website contains programs, videos, lessons and most interestingly online games for students to learn about law and civics.  Some of the games are “Pirates fo the Preamble”, “The Bill of Rights Match Game”, and The Pick Twelve Interactive Jury Game”.

Check it out at:

Sharon Nelson Interviewed

Our friend, E-filing pioneer, and immediate past-President of the Virginia State Bar, was interviewed by Law Technology News.  The article noted that she is “current president of the Fairfax Law Foundation; member of the American Bar Association's Cybersecurity Legal Task Force; vice chair of the ABA Law Practice Division Education Board and, of course, on the editorial advisory board of Law Technology News.”  To read more about this remarkable lady click here.

Upcoming Conferences  

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