Wednesday, March 8, 2017

This and That in Court Technology – March, 2017

Time for another round-up of court technology related items.  In this edition we remind everyone of the CTC 2017 proposal deadline, the Wyoming courts need to increase their Court Automation Fee, an online paperless court savings calculator, an argument for AI technology to replace juries in the future, and a story about "Amy Ingram", a digital scheduling assistant "bot" program.


CTC 2017: Call for Proposals Reminder – Deadline Friday!

The Court Technology Conference (CTC) 2017 will be held September 12-14 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Salt Palace Convention Center. If you know CTC, you know our tradition of bringing new perspectives to techy tools for the court profession. This year we are reaching out to the court community for session ideas that will energize teams of administrators, technologists and judges to attend our education program.

Interested in sharing new ideas, new technology, new challenges, and new successes? We want to hear from you! Your session should appeal to a large, diverse audience and focus on a topic that affects the entire court community and focuses on one of the below tracks. But...all session ideas are welcome!

  • Next Generation Courts - The future of the CMS; data centers; business process improvements; artificial intelligence
  • User-Friendly Courts in the era – Improving customer service, self-service tools; courthouse facilities
  • Maintaining Public Trust and Confidence – Performance measures for courts; meaningful access to justice; community engagement; working with other partners in the justice system; effective communication strategies
  • Show Me the Data – Data visualization of court information; predictive analytics; using data to inform decision-making; using data to effectively communicate

The deadline for session proposals is Friday, March 10th.

Wyoming Increases Court Automation Fee

Via our friend Bill Rafferty at the NCSC Gavel to Gavel blog we learned that:
“Wyoming’s governor has signed into law HB 192 which raises the state’s court automation fee from $10 to $25. The House version increased the fee from $10 to $20. 

The Senate version increased the fee from $10 to $25 and exempted state agencies from the fee increase until July 2018.

It was the Senate version that was ultimately enacted.

The fee is added based on various filings (probate, appellate, civil, etc.) as well as on criminal convictions. The fee was created and set at $10 in 2000 with the proceeds going to a judicial systems automation account (W.S. 5–2–120) and is used by the supreme court for the purchase, maintenance and operation of computer hardware and software to enhance the communication, records and management needs of the courts.

The law goes into effect on July 1, 2017” Posts Paperless Court Savings Calculator

An online “paperless savings calculator” has been created by the folks at It is based on the CTB’s E-Court Return on Investment article.  It is great to see the information used in a creative manner. 

NY Times opinion article: “Ever Heard of Bill Cosby?”

The above-titled article, published on March 3, 2017, describes the judge in the case against Mr. Cosby had decided to “import” jurors from a neighboring Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  The author argues that “the idea that citizens in Montgomery County” (the neighbor) “ignores how the media works today. National National television, newspapers and magazines covered the Cosby case. Social media streams shared global opinion and news. Even a local political battle, the election of the prosecuting attorney, received national attention.”

The author then argues that “the Cosby trial makes clear is that new data-driven innovations may work better than traditional legal solutions such as changing venue or importing juries. News has become too fluid and social media too quick. Courts will, thus, need to find new ways, using better data sources, to identify and prevent media influence from undermining the fairness of criminal trials.”


Amy – the Digital Scheduling Assistant

A Business Insider article last summer (and another on “The Verge” website) touted the capabilities of a “virtual personal assistant” from a company called “” that they named “Amy Ingram”.  It has been working with Google Calendar but was also made available for Office 365 and  The way it works is described:

“Just copy "" to your email, and "Amy Ingram," your personal AI assistant, will handle the annoying parts of finding a time that works for both parties. 

People love Amy Ingram, and not everyone realizes it's a robot, not a human. Since 2014, Amy (and her "brother," Andrew), "have scheduled hundreds of thousands of meetings and processed millions of scheduling-related emails," says in a press release.”

It sounds like it would be something incredibly useful to our friends in the courts.  Has anyone tried it yet?  

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