Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Court Technology eFiling Winter Wonderland

Our mystery holiday songwriter has submitted a new version of the classic "Winter Wonderland" to celebrate the season.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

E-Courts Conference Presentations Video Available

Last weeks E-Courts Conference had an outstanding set of educational sessions.  They are now available online at:

I particularly enjoyed the sessions that offered solutions including::

  • Using Predictive Analysis to Prevent the Financial Exploitation of Elders
  • Three Real-World ODR Implementations
  • Litigant Portals
  • CourtHack Winners
  • Building Better Court Websites - and Beyond
  • New Models for Court Scheduling
  • Electronic Courtrooms in Pierce County, Washington

There are great ideas in all of the conference sessions, and if you weren't able to attend, or would like to share them with your court, you can now do so.  Congratulations to all for a great conference.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kentucky Pretrial Services Virtual Tour

Via the December, 2016 SJI Newsletter

Hosted by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), the Pretrial Justice Center for Courts is a national collaborative initiative featuring the latest efforts to develop and improve pretrial services. Recently, Kentucky Pretrial Services launched a virtual tour aimed at fellow pretrial service providers and those stakeholders new to the Kentucky Court of Justice process.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Watch e-Courts Conference Live

You may not have been able to get yourself to Las Vegas for the SOLD OUT e-Courts 2016, but you can still participate in the conference. NCSC is broadcasting a free live stream so everyone in the court community can take it in.

Program highlights includes: Keynote speaker Gary Marchant at 11:45 am (eastern) on Monday; three examples of online dispute resolution implementations at 5:45 pm (eastern) on Monday; and how to build a better court website at 12:35 pm (eastern) on Tuesday. The complete agenda is available on the eCourts conference website at

If you see this post on time you can click here to watch the online video stream.

Friday, December 9, 2016

AAERT Releases New Analysis Report on Digital Court Recording

Via press release - a new paper,  Analysis and Advantages of Digital Court Reporting and Recording in the Courts, Deposition, and Administrative Hearings Markets in Wilmington, Delaware was issued on November 28, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

This and That in Court Technology – December, 2016

In this month's edition, we have e-Courts information; some news items and announcements from Microsoft; Alameda County, California CMS problems; a new way to annotate legal briefs; and some holiday gift guides for last minute shopping.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Is it Time to Rename CMS?

The term “Case Management Systems” has been appropriated for use in a much wider range of software applications such as insurance and financial organizations.  Is it time to rename and re-brand our main court automation systems?  Maybe?

Friday, November 18, 2016

My Favorite Browser Extensions

The CTB has been delving into a lot of serious subjects lately.  So I thought it was time for a little fun.  In this post, I share a note about my favorite Google Chrome browser extensions.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Maryland Courts Release Law Help Mobile App

Thanks to our good friend Bonnie Hough we learned that the Maryland Judiciary has a free mobile app that provides easy access to tools and resources to aid Marylanders in using the courts and getting legal help.  The Maryland Law Help app includes: self-help videos, court form finders, direct links to CALL or CHAT directly with an attorney at the Md. Courts Self-Help Center, access to the People's Law Library and court legal help pages, as well as  information on  law libraries, mediation and language access. The app is available for Apple and Android devices through the App Store and Google Play.  For more information see:

Congratulations to the Maryland Judiciary for some great work.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

This and That in Court Technology – October, 2016

Microsoft Surface Studio

It was a busy month in court technology. In this post we share news about judicial decision prediction system, a court rejecting e-signed documents, a new online traffic ticket mediation implementation, several Microsoft related technology announcements, and last call for the Australia legal and court technology conference registration.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Law Firms as an Electronic Filing Service Provider

We are pleased to share the following article by Mr. Dallas Powell, President of Tybera, Inc., an E-filing services company.  In the article he shares their experience with law firms and government agencies connecting directly to the court's EFM (E-Filing Manager) services.

Friday, October 14, 2016

US Federal Courts PACER Fees Litigation

US Federal Courthouse Las Cruces NM

An article posted at (Quartz) discusses the court case regarding fees for the public use of the US Federal Courts PACER system.  The article notes:
“the paywall that surrounds Pacer is facing what may be its most serious test since the service emerged 28 years ago. Judge Ellen Huvelle of the US district court in Washington DC is expected to decide in the coming days whether a lawsuit accusing the government of setting Pacer fees at unlawfully high rates can proceed. 
The case, which is seeking class-action certification, is being led by three nonprofits: the National Veterans Legal Service Program, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Alliance for Justice. Each group says it has downloaded documents from Pacer and incurred charges alleged to exceed the cost of providing the records. All say the setup violates the E-Government Act of 2002, which authorizes the judiciary to “prescribe reasonable fees”—and which the plaintiffs argue should limit the government to charge users “only to the extent necessary” to make the information available.”
The full article is worth reading because it provides some explanation of fee waivers and, the total amount of revenue generated that supports court automation that is not provided by Congress in budget appropriation.  We would also point out that there are additional issues such as costs relating to data privacy, redaction, and management that are not addressed in the article.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Court Case Management Systems Part 18: Decision Support

In the previous post in our series we discussed Court Case Management Systems (CCMS) Dashboards that support case process, management information, and decisions.  In other words, information that makes our “court process factory” more efficient.  And the key purpose of case management is to organize data (and insure completeness) so that it can in turn be converted into information for cases to be adjudicated and decisions rendered.

But what’s next?  We think that one part of the answer is to integrate and extend the judicial decision support functionality into the CCMS itself. We explain below…

Friday, September 30, 2016

ROSS – Artificial Intelligent Lawyer

IBM Watson - Home of ROSS
Earlier this week I heard about ROSS for the first time from the brilliant Snorri Ogata of the Los Angeles Superior Court at the NAPCO Conference in Cleveland.  So I had to learn more…

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This and That in Court Technology – September, 2016

Attendees enjoying e-Courts

We share news about the e-Courts 2016 Conference, the Federal Courts test of prisoner electronic access kiosks, news in the search for a quiet keyboard - now in portable form, questions raised about Australian use of court videoconferencing, a Blockchain notarization service, and a new court podcast in Florida.

Friday, September 16, 2016

NCSC Court Tech Positions Announced

The National Center for State Courts - Court Consulting Services Division in collaboration with Technology Services has openings for two positions:

1. Senior Court Technology Consultant, Band W316; Salary depends on qualification.
2. Principal Court Technology Consultant, Band D418; Salary depends on qualification.

Positions are open until filled; however, for first consideration, submit applications by Monday, October 3, 2016 until 5:00 pm. EDT.

To apply for any of these positions, go to our web page at: and click on NCSC domestic jobs. First time users will need to register before applying.  Positions are being advertised internally and externally at the same time.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Argentina's Center for Judicial Information

For many years I have been an admirer for the Argentina Judiciary’s Center for Judicial Information website.  I think that it is one of the best judicial websites in the world and it is one that should be studied and monitored by other judiciaries.  Via our good friend, Mr. Luis Maria Palma, President of E-Justicia Latinoamerica and a Vice-President of the International Association for Court Administration we were able to contact Ms. Maria Bourdin, who late last year was named as head of their Ministry of Communication and Open Government.  She was kind enough to answer our questions and share information regarding their excellent court website.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

CSI Announces Intellidact LBX™ Machine Learning Technology

I am happy to share a press release from one of our leading court technology vendors this week.  CSI has been working with courts for more than 20 years in support and the development of automated redaction technology.  Their new system provides a powerful way for courts to bridge the gap between paper and electronic data.  Congratulations to our good friends in Orlando for this significant achievement.

The full press release follows below:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Michigan Releases Statewide E-Filing RFP

On August 25, 2016, State Court Administrator Milton L. Mack, Jr. announced:

“I am pleased to report that the Michigan Supreme Court released a Request for Proposals (RFP) today, seeking a vendor to supply a statewide system that will allow litigants to file cases electronically from anywhere at any time.  The RFP also asks that vendors submit proposals for an electronic document management system so that courts can receive and manage e-filed documents.

Release of the RFP is a major step forward in our efforts to help trial courts across Michigan benefit from the potential improvements in efficiency that e-filing can provide, including reduced handling of paper files and reduced need for manual data entry of case information.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Law and Courts in an Online World Conference – Melbourne, Australia

I am happy to announce that I will be speaking along with good friend Judge Dory Reiling and many others at the Law and Courts in an Online World Conference that will be held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, November 8 & 9, 2016.  They have announced that an early-bird discount fee for the conference is available until August 31.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

South Carolina Courts Seeks IT Director

We learned today that the job announcement for the South Carolina Judicial Department IT Director has been released. The closing date for application is September 9, 2016.  The announcement job responsibilities description starts:

"Under limited supervision, the Director of Information Technology is a member of the executive management team and is responsible for providing leadership in the development of technology solutions to support SCJD's mission, goals, and objectives."

The full job announcement with submission instructions is available online here.

Friday, August 19, 2016

This and That in Court Technology – August 2016

In this edition of "This and That" we share E-Courts conference updates, US Federal Courts updating their E-filing rules, IJIS Institute Mid-Year Update Meeting, the ABA Future of Legal Services report, information regarding the new Microsoft Two-Step Authentication app, and last a handy home improvement app I recently used.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Storage, SSD’s and the Future of Court Records

A recent article stated “SSD prices plummet again, close in on HDD”.  Translated that means that solid state “flash” storage that runs much faster than traditional hard disk drives (HDD’s) is closing in on price parity.  But what does this mean for court records?  We discuss and speculate below.

Friday, July 29, 2016

EOIR RFI Q&A Deadline for Questions and Responses Extended

The US Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review RFI has extended the date and time for accepting question until Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

The deadline for responses has been extended to Monday, August 15, 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

For more on the RFI see our earlier post at: 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

More Developments in Blockchain Technology and the Law

Blockchain technology or as it is also known as, “distributed ledger”, is the subject of a great deal of thinking and development this year.  We wrote about it earlier in the year and now we share some recent work being done at MIT Media Lab’s project.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

RFI Issued for US Department of Justice EOIR

ZYGOS Consulting (ZYGOS) in conjunction with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) in support of the ECAS Program has issued a Request for Information for the US Department of Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review. ( )   

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Webinar and Other News – July, 2016

News about a free court tech webinar, more on CMS events and decisions, Margaret Hagan on Legal Services Bots, and a couple of security warnings.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Court Case Management Events and Decision Mapping

Earlier this week I participated in the BPM and Case Management Global Summit conference with my good friend and colleague, John Matthias of the NCSC Court Services Division.  He shared some of his recent work on court case management systems including decision mapping.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

JTC Webinar: Using Technology to Improve Pretrial Release Decision-Making

The Joint Technology Committee (JTC) will host a webinar next Tuesday, June 28 on technology and risk-assessment tools to support pretrial release decision-making.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

e-Courts 2016 News

We share the latest news about the e-Courts 2016 Conference that will be held December 12-14, 2016 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Court Contingency Planning

As they say, stuff happens.  So it is very important that courts develop a contingency plan to keep operating as much as possible.

Our guest blogger, Steve Smith, Technology Services Supervisor of the 13th Circuit Court for Boone and Callaway counties in Missouri, shares what they have developed.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Even More This and That in Court Technology – June, 2016

After I wrote the post last week a lot of new items of potential interest to court technologists appeared.  In this edition we share news from Microsoft, Facebook, the ODR 2016 Conference, the Tyler Excellence Awards, uses for E-Discovery Software, and a cleaned up software utility repository.

Monday, May 30, 2016

This and That in Court Technology – Early Summer 2016

At the beginning of summer 2016, we share court technology news from the IACA European Regional Conference, Mississippi mobile access to justice app plans, online juror research restriction, Colorado online court information access questions, and a really big new computer monitor.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Events, Baseball, and Better Court Statistics

Cases are made up of events that can be counted in additional detail.  And those individual events have characteristics that can also be quantified.  In this article I will discuss these concepts with an apology up front that I will be using a lot of the game of Baseball analogies with apologies to my friends who follow the game of Cricket.  That said…

Monday, May 16, 2016

Talking About Change: Getting from One Trapeze to Another

Guest author, Doug Leonard writes about change in this interesting post.

"It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place between that we fear. It is like being between two trapezes. It’s like Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold onto."
                                        --- Marilyn Ferguson, American Futurist

Monday, May 9, 2016

Trusted Digital Signatures

Our good friend Patrick Cormier, former CEO of the Canadian Centre for Court Technology, now Vice President for Business Development at Notarius wrote a great piece on Digital Signatures that he has allowed us to re-post below.  I think you will find it interesting...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Another Technology to Plan For: Blockchain Contracts

As we all know, courts have to deal with contracts between parties.  And courts also very often have to verify the authenticity of information.

There is a lot of work going on using Blockchain database technology.  So it is time to learn about and plan for its use in the justice system.  We discuss below.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Some News Notes

A busy couple of weeks.  But we wanted to share three notes about “The Free Law Project” Judicial Database, Microsoft’s partnership with the Legal Service Corporation and Pro Bono Net, and some recent legal action involving digital evidence.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Response to Texas Criminal E-Filing Mandate Concerns

I received a link to an article in Texas Lawyer from our friend, new PhD Bill Raftery at Gavel to Gavel regarding a public hearing held on April 5, 2016 at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals regarding mandatory criminal case E-filing.  The article notes that the court has already made filing mandatory for their cases.  But they heard additional concerns that I will comment on:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Criminal Justice Identification in the Cloud

Courts have an unending problem with criminal defendant identification.  If one thinks about this issue for a minute, in many instances it is a benefit to the defendant to not be properly identified.  As most of you know, there have been biometric systems (fingerprint, face recognition for example) available for law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts for many years.  But there has been a significant initial cost barrier.  Last week I saw an interesting possible “cloud based” solution that may help.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Oregon iForms Project Simplifies Public Court Access

Earlier this year we found the following press release from the Oregon Judicial Branch on their OJD iForms project.  They wrote:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Digital Paper E-Ink Device from Sony Surprises

Technology surprises appear every day… even when they are over two years old.  Last week I stumbled across the Sony Digital Paper device at the American Bar Association TechShow in Chicago.  In many ways this is the device in my opinion that many judges have been looking for.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

“Managing Digital Evidence in Courts”

The COSCA/NACM Joint Technology Committee has issued a new report: “Managing Digital Evidence in Courts”.  The report identifies potential challenges and recommends steps courts should consider when receiving, evaluating, protecting, and presenting digital evidence, including video from body-worn cameras, private citizens, and other sources.

Click here to view and download the report.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

In the Matter of the George and Jane Jetson Family Case No. 20??-0000-DM

The Jetsons

The Michigan Bar Journal has given the CTB permission to republish an entertaining but I believe prescient article by the President of the Michigan Bar Association, President Lori A. Buiteweg.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

CourtHack 2016 a Great Success!

This past weekend the NCSC team working with HackerNest held the first ever CourtHack event.  I can say without qualification that it was great!  More...