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.

Microsoft Planner Coming to Office 365

Reading the Microsoft Firehose blog I learned that a new simpler project and coordination tool has been developed that will be added to their Office 365 suite in the near future called Microsoft Planner.  They write:

“The addition of Planner to the Office 365 lineup introduces a new and improved way for businesses, schools and organizations to structure teamwork easily and get more done. With Planner, teams can create new plans; organize, assign and collaborate on tasks; set due dates; update statuses and share files, while visual dashboards and email notifications keep everyone informed on progress.”

An example of one of the screens is shown below.  Courts very often don’t need the complexity of a full featured project management tool.  It looks like an interesting possibility.

Example of Microsoft Planner

Facebook Messenger Deserves a Look

A guest post on discussed the potential uses for Facebook Messenger for banking.  Looking at the list of functions that the author projected I could see courts being able to do much the same thing.  He explains:

“The Facebook Messenger platform opens many doors for easier, better digital interactions by enabling businesses to embed codes in chat conversations. Businesses can now obtain user messages, translate them into action requests, and send back automatically generated or manually-typed-by-human responses to the users. This is a faster, simpler, and richer experience than mobile app interactions, which require users to navigate through a mobile app, click on different links, load new pages, and wait for confirmation.”

I admit that I have found social media to have only limited utility for courts to accomplish their actual work.  This is a potential “game changer”.

The full article that I recommend reading is available at:

Online Dispute Resolution Conference (ODR) 2016

Our good friend Judge Dory Reiling from The Netherlands has posted a review of the recent ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) 2016 Conference held in The Hague on May 23 and 24.  This is a fast moving technology development area that is creating multiple systems solving multiple problems for the legal and judicial systems.

She describes projects in The Netherlands, France, and plans for systems in the UK and Canada.  Her post is available at:

And the conference website is available at:

Tyler Technologies Announces Excellence Awards

In a press release on May 31, 2016:

“Tyler Technologies announced recipients of its 2016 Tyler Public Sector Excellence Awards for the Odyssey® courts and justice solution and its first recipient for Tyler’s SoftCode™ civil processing solution. The national Odyssey winners were named at Tyler’s Connect national user conference in Phoenix, and the Texas winners were named at the Odyssey user conference in Austin.

National winners included Fulton County, Georgia; the Minnesota Judicial Branch; the Indiana Supreme Court; and Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts. Texas winners included El Paso County, Cameron County District Clerk, Travis County Justice of the Peace, Precinct Two, Dallas County and Grayson County. Texas finalists included the Cameron County Office of the County Clerk. National and Texas winners were awarded for increasing efficiencies, improving access to justice and moving toward a paperless environment by implementing Odyssey.”

Congratulations to all.

E-Discovery Discussed as Solution to Improve Litigation Outcomes

In an interesting article in Legaltech News, Steven Ashbacher of LexisNexis wrote about the use of E-Discovery software to perform faster case review.  He notes that ‘(t)here are five ways that analytics can help drive better litigation outcomes”.

They are in summary:

  1. Define outcomes by the use of visual analytics so that “litigation teams can get a clearer look at a more manageable data set, enabling them to quickly see the case issues”.
  2. Gain efficiency during “the review of electronic documents”.
  3. “Analytics can also play a crucial role in risk management”.
  4. Allow “litigation teams” to “develop more insightful litigation strategy”.
  5. And allow “litigation teams to better organize and analyze large volumes of data in new ways”.

I hope you seeing what I am; that there is a lot of commonality in what these law firms are doing and what courts, particularly appellate courts, are doing when they are working with case information?

The full article is available at Legaltech News however you will likely need to set up an account to access it. They allow access to five free articles per month.

Tucows Software Repository Cleans Up Their Act

Since the 90’s I have often used the Tucows (yes, like in Two Cows) software repository to help solve simple software utility needs.  They and other services have in recent years unfortunately become infected with all manner of ways to trick the user into mistakenly download unwanted things onto your computer.  A frequent example of this is a new and unwanted browser toolbar.
In early May, 2016 Tucows announced that they would no longer host or support these kinds of misdirection.  Congratulations to them.

To check it out go to:

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thoughts, as always Jim, especially on the application of some of this technology within the courts. You're so right on those commonalities that exist between the legal sector and court sector. Makes sense to me that we try and bridge that gap whenever we can.