Wednesday, December 20, 2017

New York State Courts Announce High-Tech Courtrooms

Via two press releases this month, we learn about new high-tech courtrooms in the New York City Family Court  location in Brooklyn and in  Westchester County Supreme Court in White Plains, New York

More below...

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Structuring Court Communications with an App

Courts are different than many other businesses or services.  A rather obvious statement I know.  But a very important difference is that we have very formal court rules and legal statutes that create the steps, as well as boundaries, in how information is presented.  The rules also determine how the courts evaluate the completeness and truthfulness of the information presented.  Because of these structures and rules, I have been very cautious about the court's use of social media that as we know, have very few if any rules.

But communication is hard for many people.  This is especially true for communication that is structured to persuade or argue a point of view or law.  Therefore, an app that helps people, especially the self-represented litigants to accomplish this, is of great interest to me.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Webinar: How to Incorporate Plain Language into Court Forms, Websites, and Other Materials

The National Association for Court Management, in partnership with the Self-represented Litigation Network (SRLN), presented its third webinar of 2017 on November 29, 2017.

Fortunately for those of us who missed the live event, they have saved the slides and recording at 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Oregon eCourt: A Technology and Business Success Story

Brookings, Oregon from:

While researching last week’s article on E-filing implementation statistics I ran across the 2016 Annual Report of the Oregon Judicial Branch titled: Focus on Technology.  It was a great surprise to find sixteen pages were devoted to a detailed report of their eCourt project with the following section headings:

  • Project background and approach
  • Developing user buy-in
  • The project’s guiding principles
  • How they conducted planning, law, and policy workshops
  • Vendor selection and contracting
  • Work with the legislature
  • External stakeholder buy-in
  • User project participation and training
  • Integrations and implementation
  • Implementation of lessons learned from the courts
  • What “worked well” to make the Oregon eCourt project a success
  • Current benefits from the Oregon eCourt System
  • Public access and statewide mandatory eFiling
  • Going forward – Continuing development

I believe that this report should be mandatory reading for all court technologists.  Congratulations and well done Oregon Judicial Branch.

It is available for download in PDF here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Millions and Millions Served

An original McDonald's Restaurant

When I was young, the US fast food restaurant, McDonald’s would display that they had sold over 1 million and later 2 million hamburgers (see picture at the left).  Court E-filing has been like that.  Slow adoption at first.  But now after 20 years, there are now millions of E-filings recorded.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Microsoft/Legal Aid Tech/Voice-Response Portals

There is so much to this story I couldn’t really write a title that reflected all of the exciting news.  We learned that Microsoft is currently investing in applying their new AI enabled voice-response technology to the problem of legal aid for the disadvantaged.  They have engaged with our friends and experts in the subject at the Legal Services Corporation and Much more below...

Friday, November 3, 2017

Problems and Solutions for Court Videoconferencing

A BuzzFeed News article brought to our attention a report done on the use of videoconferencing in the Courts of the United Kingdom and Wales.  We share some notes from the articles and discuss our potential technology solutions and other resources below.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Clerk Bot

Craig Van Brussel, Chief Technology Officer in the First Judicial District of Florida shared news about their testing of “Robotic Process Automation” that was developed by Computing Systems Innovations (CSI) in Orlando.  More below:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

This and That in Court Technology – October, 2017

News from the California courts, digital recording technology advances, smartphone language interpretation, the NCRA, Social Security Number replacement, Mississippi court rules, a conference in New Zealand and a useful Dutch Legal Technology newsletter/blog, and a good CTC 2017 summary.

Friday, September 29, 2017

LegalXML Electronic Court Filing Specification 5.0 Draft Announced

In the first major update since 2013, the Oasis-Open LegalXML Electronic Court Filing (ECF) Technical Committee has announced version 5 for sixty-day public review.  Since the standard is the most widely used electronic filing standard, this is a significant advancement. 

More below…

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Special Court Technology Procurement Workshop

A special 1 1/2 day Technology Procurement Workshop for Court Leaders and Technology Staff, Vendors, and Consultants will be presented in Phoenix, Arizona, November 7-8, 2017 at the Trial Court Education Center, Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County.

More below...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The 2017 McMillan Scholarship Award Winner

Jose Lezcano and Jim McMillan

Jose Lezcano, the Judicial Branch IT Director in Puerto Rico was honored with the McMillan Scholarship at the CTC 2017 Conference for his technology leadership.  More below:

Friday, September 15, 2017

CTC 2017 – a Milestone Conference

The conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah from September 12-14, 2017 had many significant events and presentations.  We will start the list in this post with more to come in the very near future.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Tech Ideas for Court Emergency and Disaster Planning

Hurricane Irma from the ISS

With the recent serious storms in the USA, planning to deal with emergency situations is on our minds.   But many things have changed because of the court's conversion to E-filing and electronic documents. We discuss below.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Preserving the Record

The article last week regarding Judge Michael Marcus and his website, got me thinking about one of the court’s most important duties, preserving the record.  I share my list of strategies and options below.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Judge Michael Marcus – The Passing of a Court Tech Pioneer

Hon. Michael Marcus

Last month we were saddened to hear of the passing of Judge Michael Marcus formerly of the Multnomah County (Portland, Oregon) Circuit Court.  I had the great pleasure of knowing Michael since the late 1990’s because of his work in developing the concept of “Smart Sentencing”.   A video of a presentation Judge Marcus made on his work from 2010 is available here.

Judge Marcus also wrote one of the most popular articles in the history of the Court Tech Bulletin about his "Search for a Quiet Keyboard” in 2007.

But back to the main subject below.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

This and That in Court Technology – August, 2017

A big CTC-2017 promotion (especially if you are hungry), an upcoming JTC webinar, big E-filing news, Wyoming court automation fees introduced, space and cost savings by the US Federal Courts, and a little tip in this month’s court tech news amalgamation.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Blockchain for Criminal Charge Tracking?

A recent question to the NCSC Community bulletin board regarding Blockchain technology led to the following thoughts regarding its potential use in one of the most difficult problems we have faced in the justice community since the 1970’s, criminal charge tracking.  We discuss below.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

NCSC Releases New Report on Court Privacy Policy

A State Justice Institute supported report, “Best Practices for Court Privacy Policy Formulation” authored by three of our NCSC colleagues, Tom Clarke, Jannet Lewis and Di Graski has just been released.  The report begins:

"As state and local courts progressively convert their business processes from paper to electronic formats, policies around remote electronic access to court case information by the public become ever more important.  COSCA last addressed this issue comprehensively in 2002 with a report authored by Martha Steketee and Alan Carlson that proposed a model policy for public access.  At that time, few courts had implemented electronic filing, so the model policy addressed both manual and electronic access.  In the fifteen years since then, courts have learned a lot about living in an electronic world and providing remote access to their case data and documents.  Consequently, there is a need to update what we know about this topic and revise the model policy."

August 31, 2017 revision -- click here to access the updated paper. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cobb County Georgia Issues Court Tech RFI

Cobb County (“County”) invites qualified technology companies (“Responders”) to submit written information about their ability to provide the modules needed to support countywide court and justice partner operations and case management with the goal of providing better access to justice and improving internal efficiencies.

Friday, July 14, 2017

This and That in Court Technology – July, 2017

Library of Congress Exhibition Image

This month's news about court technology and related topics includes CTC 2017 Experts, a proposed American Bar Association resolution, 10 tips for IT administrators to deal with password lockout, Margaret Hagan's artwork and observations from the NACM/IACA conference, the Center for Court Innovation's treatment courts online training offerings, the IJIS Institute announces a new Executive Director, and the Library of Congress exhibition, "Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration".

Thursday, July 13, 2017

North Carolina AOC Issues RFI for CMS Evaluation

North Carolina Supreme Court building
The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts is currently researching the services to assess the current integrated case management systems in the market place that will best fit the existing and future needs of the NCAOC.

 Additional information about the NCAOC can be viewed at its website

The information gathered from this RFI will be used to identify vendors that can provide the systems needed to meet the needs of the Technology Services Division’s technical and infrastructure requirements.

Interested parties must submit a response package no later than 2:00 pm (EDT), July 31, 2017.

The full RFI (PDF format) is available at:

Friday, July 7, 2017

Loomis vs. Wisconsin Cert Denied

The Supreme Court of the United States denied cert in a case asking to expose the risk algorithm used by Northpointe's COMPAS system.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Event Time

In the CCMS series we wrote about events and tasks.  In that article, we mentioned event weights that reflects the amount of work that was expended on that event.  But there is another way that we can augment the event record.  We explain.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Not Just Police Body Cams

GoPro Pet Camera Mounts

A recent Pennsylvania appellate court decision points out that the record keepers will deal with more than just law enforcement body camera evidence. Courts are having to deal with video evidence from many sources.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

CTC 2017: Is your courthouse prepared for a cyber attack?

The CTC-2017 opening keynote speaker is Mark Lanterman, chief technology officer at Computer Forensic Services in Minneapolis.

He will talk about recent high-profile cyber attacks that have victimized businesses, hospitals, and government agencies. He also will tell us about cyber threats that could specifically hurt the courts, such as “The Dark Web,” “The Internet of Things,” and phishing, among other things.

Also, the full detailed conference schedule is also now available once you have created an account.  It's quick and easy to do.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

This and That in Court Tech – June, 2017 

In this month’s news roundup we learn about Wisconsin's E-filing activities, news about Ravel Law and Court Innovations, Google's improved ability in language recognition, and some notes about improving communication understanding.

And last, some CTC 2017 educational program agenda news.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Technology Solutions for Self-Represented Litigants

The University of Denver's Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) announced the release of Court Compass: Mapping the Future of User Access Through Technology, a compendium and analysis of court-offered solutions for self-represented litigants (SRLs), along with maturity models to guide the development of integrated solutions in courts nationwide. See this recent post on the IAALS Online Issues Blog for more details.

IAALS is also participating with a number of other organizations, including the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), on the newly formed OASIS Litigant Portal Technical Committee (LP TC)

The LP TC will be developing technical standards for litigant portal interfaces that will expedite and simplify development of solutions to assist potential litigants without legal representation overcome barriers of cost and complexity. The work of the LP TC will leverage experiences in recent portal projects as well as requirements identified in a 2015 report titled Building a Litigant Portal: Business and Technical Requirements. Any OASIS member may participate on the LP TC. If you're interested but not yet a member of OASIS, information on how to join is available here.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Courts Could Help to Protect Drivers from Traffic Ticket Phishing E-mail

CyberheistNews posted an article about “the NY State Department of Motor Vehicles warning about a phishing scam where New York drivers are being targeted, stating they have 48 hours to pay a fine or have their driver's license revoked.” In this post, we share some ideas that courts may consider to help to reduce or eliminate this problem.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Tyler Technologies Acquires Modria

Via press release on May 30, 2017 -Tyler Technologies, Inc. announced it has acquired Modria, a company specializing in online dispute resolution (ODR) for government and commercial entities, to complement its courts and justice and appraisal and tax solutions.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

CTC 2017 Early Bird Deadline Extended to May 31st

Salt Palace Convention Center

CTC 2017 is only about 100 days away! Are you registered yet?

CTC 2017 features five tracks this year (plus the usual bonus of a separate sponsor track). This year’s sessions will focus on:
  • Show Me the Data!
  • Next Generation Courts
  • Maintaining Public Trust and Confidence
  • User-Friendly Courts
  • Looking to the Future

Check out some of the highlighted sessions in each track, and keep your eyes open for the complete agenda, coming very soon!

Register before May 31st to get the early bird rate of $750.00. Once you register, you’ll be able to secure your hotel room from one of the four great properties, all within walking distance of the Salt Palace Convention Center.

Click here to go to the registration webpage.

Also - click on the registration drop-down menu to learn about the McMillan Scholarship opportunity.  Submissions are due June 19, 2017.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

This and That in Court Technology - May, 2017

New US Courts Jury Kiosks

In this month's news we learn about Michigan's E-filing RFP award, two new court tech announcement from the US Federal Courts, new ideas from the Open Law Lab blog on service process in Massachusetts, the Supreme Court of India's new CMS/E-filing system, the 2016 Judicial Effectiveness Index for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and about the 2017 E-Sign Records Conference to be held in San Francisco later this year.

Monday, May 15, 2017

JTC releases "Courts Disrupted" paper . . .

The Joint Technology Committee (JTC) has released a new Resource Bulletin titled “Courts Disrupted.” This paper takes a captivating look at today’s fast-changing world of innovation and public expectations. Recognizing courts will not remain untouched by disruptive innovation, the paper encourages embracing rather than resisting the opportunities to improve business processes and make justice more readily available to a wider audience.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Microsoft AI Services are Getting Real

Brussels Atomium

An excellent article posted on on May 10, 2107  titled: “Microsoft’s bid to bring AI to every developer is starting to make sense”.  The subtitle is: “The API’s are getting good enough to be built into production systems”.  This is getting interesting.  More on the article below.

Friday, May 5, 2017

DC Courts Compile Report on Remote Public Access to Electronic Court Records

Prepared by the Remote Access to Court Electronic Records (RACER) Committee of the Council for Court Excellence, and assisted by the National Center for State Courts, with funding by the State Justice Institute, the committee released their report in April 2017 on public access to electronic court records.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Tech Notes – April, 2017

CourtHack 2017 Champions

News about CourtHack 2017, a podcast on law enforcement body-worn cameras and the courts, and more from Alabama on court records policy.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

This and That in Court Tech – April, 2017

Illinois' Abraham Lincoln
statue in London

In this round-up of news, we hear about E-filing in Illinois, Identity Theft in Alabama, the NAJIS annual conference, Foxit PDF on forms, warnings about legal chatbots, an article on court/legal algorithmic projects, and an interesting cloud adoption survey results article.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Structuring Documents – Why and How

The challenge we have as courts is to turn documents into actionable information.  We most commonly do this by re-entering data into the case management systems database.  The courts can and should do better by using the software that most everyone already owns.  We discuss below.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Sponsorship opportunities at CourtHack 2.0

NCSC will be hosting CourtHack 2.0 April 22-23, 2017 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Participating teams will come together from a variety of sources: universities, not-for-profit development groups, industry, courts, and individuals gathering and forming teams on site. We anticipate around 150 participants, dividing into about 30 teams. Court experts from across the county, including judges, court administrators, and court CIOs, will participate as mentors, providing insight into the issues and the potential benefits to both courts and the communities they serve.

The challenge sets for CourtHack 2.0 include:
  1. Fairness in Fees, Fines, and Bail Practices
  2. Fairness: Leveling the Playing Field
  3. Understanding Customer Experience
  4. Translating Legalese to Folksonomy
  5. Social Support for Families in Crisis
  6. Wildcard! Closing Gaps in the Court System
More details can be found at the CourtHack website:

There are also still a number of great sponsorship opportunities available. Go here for details.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Time is running out - register now for the 2017 Court Industry Summit

If you are a solution provider to courts, you don't want to miss this opportunity to have an open and candid dialog with thought leaders from the judicial branch and your private-sector peers.

This event will be hosted by the NCSC and facilitated by the IJIS Institute's Courts Advisory Committee. Organizations who are members of IJIS receive a registration discount.

Topics will include technology trends, disruptors, and next-generation court technology standards with perspectives from leaders in federal, state and local courts. You and your industry peers will also have the opportunity to share your perspectives on trends and technologies courts should be considering.

The summit will be held April 19-20 at the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal in Princeton, NJ. For more information and to register, go to

Today (March 29) is the last day to get the group rate at the hotel - ghere to make your reservations.