A Commentary on the ABA Blue Sky Agenda
This past weekend, during the American Bar Association’s National Summit on Innovations in Legal Services (Twitter #abafutures), there was a drawing that our friend Margaret Hagan did as part of their agenda-setting working group (shown here). In that drawing the question was asked “How Might We” and one answer was “Deal with the constraints of courts being beyond our control as lawyers”. I was frankly surprised by that statement for many reasons.
First, all of our general jurisdiction and appellate judges are lawyers. And many our limited jurisdiction judges as well. I know that judges always keep the bar in mind as far as any changes that are proposed because it is a constant theme in my 30 plus years working with the courts.
Second, many times lawyers and judges make assumptions about the others willingness to change that are simply not true. Many times I have heard that there would be massive resistance to E-filing that when implemented, did not occur. Now this is not to say that there have not be accommodations to lawyer input, there has. But this is yet another example of how lawyers are an integral and engaged part of the system of change.
And last, lawyers have been greatly influential in many instances including Oregon’s E-Courts project, Nebraska’s E-filing and digital systems, and many efforts in the US Federal Courts.
So ABA Innovators… thank your for your good work. It looked like it was a very interesting conference. But also my advice is for you to engage with the courts. We are not as hard to deal with as one might think.
Tyler Shared Info on Texas E-filing Rollout
In a case study Tyler Technologies shared that in the past year they have rolled out the statewide E-filing portal to 110 Texas Counties and that they are on their way to all 254 counties by the end of 2016. They registered more than 90,000 user in the first year and eliminated nearly 27 million pages of paper via 4.2 million filings. And finally, since Texas took the portal approach, they integrated with 17 Electronic Filing Service Providers (EFSP’s) and 10 case management systems.
The full case study paper is available as a PDF here.
Congratulations to Tyler and the Texas Administrative Office.
Texas Judge Instructed to take Social Media Classes
Via BBC.com we learned that Judge Michelle Slaughter of Galveston County, Texas was ordered by the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct had ordered that she take social-media classes after posting on Facebook regarding “trials that she had been presiding over”.
Judge Slaughter is appealing the order noting: "Slaughter maintained a public Facebook page, featuring a photo of herself in a robe, which she said she set up to fulfill a campaign promise to educate the public about the courts.”
Texas Lawyer’s magazine website has a more complete description of the issues here.
And the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct finding is available in PDF here.
Ravel Law Launches USA Federal Judge Analytics Tool
We have predicted that this was coming for more than 15 years and now it is here, Ravel Law Judge Analytics Tool hosted a free webinar on their new product that in their release that “arms litigators with data and analytics about how individual federal court judges make decisions”. Specifically they noted on their website that the system will:
- “Quickly identify opinions authored by your judge about issues like yours and the cases that influenced those rulings
- Develop a data-driven understanding of your judge's decision making process
- Deliver high quality & financially efficient results to your clients.”
The webinar was recorded and is available for playback after registration here.
NIEM Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Congratulations to everyone in our court community who has participated in the creation of first GJXDM that precipitated the creation of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) that shared their celebration on April 20, 2015. The web page notes several success stories and shows an active timeline over the past decade.
And in other NIEM News from their LinkedIn page the 3.0.1 Model Package Description (MDP) specification has been released and is available on the web page linked here.
NIEM is a joint project of the US Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services.
CTC 2015 McMillan Scholarship
And last, don’t forget to apply or pass along the information about the McMillan Scholarship for the Court Technology Conference this coming September (PDF link). Submission papers are due on June 1, 2015.