Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Even More This and That in Court Tech – June, 2015

2,500 year old Babylonian clay tablet
Remember that CTC-2015 is only three months away.  See for more.  This week's post notes the CITOC Innovation Awards nominations, IJIS, PDF, NAJIS conferences, South Africa recognizes E-signatures, Michigan state court videoconferencing, M-Disc, and a funny from Harvard Business Review.


CITOC Announces 2015 Innovation Awards Nomination Process

By e-mail, June 24, 2015:

“The Court Information Technology Officers Consortium (CITOC), with support from the National Association for Court Management (NACM), and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) is pleased to present the 2015 CITOC Innovation Awards to recognize notable contributions to the judiciary in Technology and Court Business Processes.  CITOC members contribute many valuable projects in their respective jurisdictions, and we hope the Innovation

Awards will provide an opportunity to recognize these efforts and to inform other professionals on interesting developments in the industry.

You can help highlight projects that you feel are particularly noteworthy.  As a CITOC member, you can nominate a project for consideration for an Innovation Award.   A CITOC Awards Committee will evaluate the submissions according to the criteria described in the nomination form, which is attached to this email for convenience.

Any Judge, Court Administrator, or Clerk of Court may nominate a candidate; please feel free to inform others who many not be members of our organization and who may wish to nominate a particular project.

We will be sharing information about this award program with COSCA and NACM members through their respective organizations as well.

Please submit completed nomination forms to by 11:59 PM (Eastern) on July 31, 2015.”

More Conferences…

The IJIS Institute Mid-year Briefing will be held from July 30 to August 1, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  For more click here.

The PDF Association Technical Conference 2015 program has been posted.  Click here to see more.

The NAJIS Conference will be held from October 5 to 8, 2015 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  See the organization website at for details.

South Africa Courts Recognize Validity of Email Signatures

Via the LinkedIn Electronic Signature Group we learned that the South Africa “Supreme Court of Appeal ('SCA') recently handed down a judgment in the case of Spring Forest Trading CC v Wilberry (Pty) Ltd t/a Ecowash and another 2015 (2) SA 118 (SCA) which deals with the question of whether or not a person's email signature, which appears at the foot of an email, is sufficient to satisfy the requirements of an electronic signature in terms of s13(3) of the ECTA.

The salient facts were that an agreement had been entered into between the appellant and respondent, which required cancellation thereof to be 'in writing' and to be 'signed by both parties'. The parties subsequently cancelled the agreement by way of email exchanges. The respondent later contended that the agreement had not been validly cancelled due to the fact that the (electronic) agreement of cancellation had not been signed by both parties. The main contention related to whether or not the email signatures constituted valid electronic signatures, as contemplated in s13(3).”

A full article on the subject is available here.

Michigan State Courts Expand Video Conferencing

According to an article at “”: “For the past two years, Michigan has expanded its use of video conferencing software in court cases, eliminating the need to transport prisoners to and from the courts. According to state officials, this strategy saves resources and ameliorates the threat of prisoner escape.”

Further the article states that, “(t)he strategy has saved the state $5 million to date, according to state officials."

Click here for the full article.

M-Disc Writers are Cheap!

I am working on my new Dell “Ultrabook” (Latitude E7450) laptop for this article.  The Ultrabook format is great because it saves so much weight (plus leg burns from the heat my old machine generated).  But it doesn’t come with a CD/DVD drive.  I admit that I am “old school” and like to have the option of reading and writing optical disks. Looking at available USB drives I found a slim optical DVD Reader/Writer that also surprisingly supports M-Disc’s selling currently for only $24.

So what is an M-Disc you ask?  Think Babylonian clay tables for the digital age.  They are the closest thing I have found to potentially solving the problem of a physical permanent digital record.  Even if you just want to save your children’s pictures, it is worth checking out at:
But realize that the disks aren’t as cheap as commercial CD/DVD’s, but they are reasonable (approximately $5 each).


In a sign of the times, see the second cartoon down on this Harvard Business Review page from their June, 2015 issue.  Things have certainly changed in 20 years.

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