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.

IACA European Regional Conference, 2016

I recently had the privilege of attending the International Association for Court Administration conference held in The Hague, Netherlands from May 18-20, 2016.  The conference had one technology focused session that was presented by Hajro Poskovic, Deputy Director of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wee Ming Lim, Senior Deputy Registrar, State Courts of Singapore, and Leonid Bogdonov of Ukraine.

From Bosnia and Herzegovina, we learned about their excellent judicial portal.  The portal (available in English and four other regional languages) allows for access to information on court hearings in the courts, including access to cases for authorized users.  The site provides a searchable address book for interpreters and lawyers and an online calculator of court fees.

Mr. Poskovic also shared information regarding their online human resources information management system that is connected to their court case management system.  The system tracks training and performance evaluation and promotion tracking modules to make “appointment and promotion of judges and prosecutors based on objective criteria”.

From world-leading Singapore State Courts we learned about their new Sentencing Information and Research Repository (SIR) project that allows judges to search by offense and additional factors.  The goal of the system is to provide information to judges to support equality of criminal conviction sentencing.  And they have also developed a very attractive State Courts Mobile App (image above).  You can check it out online here.
And from Ukraine we learned that they have developed a web-client based system that is linked their court decisions to be able to automatically block bank accounts throughout the country if a judgment so orders.

Congratulations to all for the excellent work being done.

Mississippi Working on Mobile App Supporting Access to Justice

In an article posted by Mississippi Public Broadcasting we learned that:

“Members of Mississippi Access to Justice Commission are brainstorming what legal information should be included in a mobile app under development. Executive Director Tiffany Graves says there's one legal-aid attorney in the state for every 21,000 people. Many can't afford an attorney and struggle to navigate the legal system. She says the app won't provide legal advice, but it will offer information and forms for civil court proceedings like evictions, child custody and divorce cases.

"Information about how to get to the courthouse. What to expect once you get there and what to expect generally from the types of proceedings that you're looking to handle," said Graves.

Handling the project is Thomas Ortega of Arizona, an award winning mobile app developer. He met Graves at a convention where she told him about the need for innovative legal services. Ortega is here at his own expense to create the tool, at no cost to the commission.”

Google and Oracle Agree Not to Research Jurors Online

Back on April 1, 2016 the Wall Street Journal the prior to jury selection, the Oracle versus Google lawsuit participants agreed to not “data mine” the social media activity of potential jurors.  The article says “(t)he decision wasn’t one they made right away. It came after a fair amount of needling from the federal judge presiding over the case, who expressed concern about how Google and Oracle might use information on jurors gleaned from the web and leaned on the two companies to refrain from researching them online.”

The full article is available here.

And recently a decision was reached in this same case. An article on that is available here.

Colorado Courts Asked to Expand Online Access

The Colorado Independent website posted an opinion article regarding their state court’s approach to online access to court documents. They write:

“Say you want to look at criminal court documents. You can’t. Not on the terminals at the Supreme Court’s law library, nor on your computer. Not unless the documents concern a high-profile matter like the Aurora theater shooting and the court has elected to post documents on its “cases of interest” web page.

Such limited public access to Colorado court records in 2016 doesn’t sit well with Paul Chessin, a former senior assistant state attorney general who specialized in consumer protection issues.

Chessin made a proposal last Friday to the Colorado Judicial Branch’s Public Access Committee: Let anyone look at Colorado court documents – for free – on public library computers throughout the state.”

The full article is available here.

Last… Dell’s New 43” Monitor

For those of you who believe that bigger is better, we learned about Dell’s huge new 4K monitor that can display four 1080p screens at once.  Learn more on the Extreme Tech website.

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