Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A Few eCourts 2018 Highlights

We are back from the eCourts 2018 Conference held last week in Las Vegas.  There were many great educational sessions and, I will share below some of the ones that I found interesting.  But also, please note that all the sessions were video recorded.  The NCSC team is working to put them online. I will write a note here when they are available.  So here goes…


My favorite session was by the Day Two Keynoter, University of Tennessee Law Professor Benjamin H. Barton.  Professor Barton is the co-author of the 2017 book, Rebooting Justice.  It was great to learn that he leads a class where he puts into practice the ideas regarding Pro Se (Self-Represented) court reform along with computerization assistance.

He specifically noted how helpful and useful the Tennessee Courts standardization of forms were to their work.  Instead of different forms in different courts and counties, one set of forms for the entire state made it possible to develop online systems to help the self-represented.  And he also described and showed how his law school class used the A2J Author toolkit to program guided interviews to create the court forms.

Professor Barton also had some very interesting comments regarding LegalZoom.com that I recommend watching if you have a chance.

His slide deck is available in PDF to download here.

The second session that I wish to share was the eGnite Session called “AI, Software Bots, and Court Document Processing – a candid conversation with the first adopter”.  The session presented by Ms. Cindy Guerra, Palm Beach County Florida Clerk and Comptroller along with our friend, Mr. Henry Sal, President of Computing System Innovations showed how the use of AI facilitated Intellidact allows for 24/7 machine data entry.  It is cool to see the system in action and I also recommend watching the video when it becomes available.

So, the question is then raised, what will the court clerks do if they are not entering data?  I would hope they would help to mark-up the case file to prepare it for the judges, attorneys, and even the public.  And I would hope it would free them up for person-to-person communication to improve customer service

The slide deck (PDF) for this session is available for download here.

The third session of note that compliments Professor Barton’s was the Online Dispute Resolution presentation by Judge Alexis Grace Krot of the 31st District Court in Michigan, Judge Brendan McCullagh, West Valley City Justice Court in Utah, and Judge Harvey Silberman, Los Angeles (Pasadena) Superior Court in California. 

All three judges described the real-world benefits as well as the issues regarding the online dispute resolution systems that they have installed at their courts.  Some impressive statistics for ODR shared during the session includes the survey that 92% of users of the Michigan Traffic/Criminal systems “would recommend ODR” and that 87% said that “ODR is fair”.

The slide deck in PDF is available for download here.  Again, when the video is available I recommend watching this session.

We will have more news to share from eCourts in the upcoming week. 

Also, if any of our readers wish to share their experiences, please write them in the comments below and I will post them after review.

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