Thursday, February 1, 2018

Social Media and the Courts Policy Reviewed & Some Sad News

The Vermont Courts are considering new rules for use of social media in their courts.  I am a great fan of the work of retired Supreme Court Justice John Dooley and his participation in this work had me take notice  (btw, Justice Dooley gave the keynote speech at the first E-Courts Conference).  Also, since we are on the subject, we share some information from our NCSC Social Media and the Courts Network website.  And last, we received some sad news this week on the passing of court technology pioneer, Sir Henry Brooke.


Vermont Draft Court Rules Would Ban Non-media Video, Photos

VT Digger website article by Alan J. Keays:

“Proposed updated rules for state courts in Vermont call for a registration system for members of the media and would prohibit others from taking or transmitting video or photos in a courtroom without a waiver.

The draft rules are now before the Vermont Supreme Court for consideration. They were written by a special committee of judges, members of the Supreme Court’s procedural rules committees, court members and the media.”

NCSC Social Media and the Courts Network

As usual, our friends at the NCSC have created and posted multiple resources for courts to devise your plan for dealing with social media.  The guide provides information on:
  • Legal Use of Social Media - How are courts deciding social media issues, like whether or not to permit service of process via social media?
  • Social Media Tips- See useful, humorous quick tips about how courts can maintain their social media account.
  • Social Media Guidelines from the Other States - What rules and regulations do other courts or organizations follow? We provide a complete list.
  • Social Media 101 - Our social media guide gives step-by-step instructions on how to perform various social media tasks.
  • Connected - NCSC and CCPIO follow the impact of new media on the courts. Get the latest news on social media and the courts in our newsletter.
  • And last and appropriately, how you can follow courts on social media - Discover which courts have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Instagram accounts.

Check out the NCSC Pinterest web pages that are linked at the bottom of this section and the links to the cameras in the courts resources.  It is fascinating to see what the changes in cell/mobile phone technology that is being addressed in Vermont compare to the earlier work.

Sir Henry Brooke dies at 81

We received sad news that a true court innovation pioneer, Sir Henry Brooke of England passed away earlier this week.  Sir Henry spoke at two CTC’s in the 90’s on law and technology.  We share the following from the Law Society Gazette:

“Brooke was called to the bar in 1963 and became a QC in 1981. He was appointed to the High Court bench in 1988 and became an appeal court judge in 1996.

Despite retiring from the Court of Appeal bench in 2006, Brooke has been a tireless campaigner for access to justice. He was vice-chair of the Bach Commission and helped to draft the commission's widely praised The Right to Justice report. Brooke, writing in the Gazette when the report was published, said the report was an 'outline design, not a blueprint'.

Brooke was instrumental in establishing Bailii, which publishes British and Irish case law and legislation, European Union case law, Law Commission reports, and other law-related British and Irish material. He was one of the first trustees when it became a registered charitable trust in December 2000.”

We also want to add that Sir Henry’s blog is a wonderful compilation of his work and ideas.  For example, see his 2016 article, “The Digital Court System – the future has arrived” for a sample.  The full blog is currently available at:  I will update this here in the CTB if this changes in the future.

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