Thursday, May 9, 2019

A Barrel Full of Court Tech News

It is spring flower season and so we share an analogous bounty of court tech in the following post.  Included are news about CTC registration, more reminder systems benefits, New Mexico's new open legal online access system, China court blockchain, and AI projects, Amal and George Clooney's TrialWatch app, Kansas Supreme Court's E-Filing rules review, and paper savings in the England and Wales courts.


CTC 2019: Get the best rate now

September may seem like a long way off, but it will be here before you know it, so register now for CTC 2019, the world’s premier court technology conference. The early-bird registration period expires May 15 - the meaning time is short to get the lowest rate. If you know you are going, now is the time to register at

More on Text Message Reminders

An article "Text message reminders help people remember their court dates" published by the Los Angeles Times newspaper on May 4, 2019 describes the benefits of scheduling and sending reminder messages for public defenders and courts.  Our friends Bill Raftery and Arizona State Court Administrator David Byers are quoted.

"In Arizona, after court administrators started a pilot program last year, the text reminders for criminal court hearings helped reduce the number of failure-to-appear warrants issued in Scottsdale Municipal Court by 51.9% during its first three months.

"We don't want to have a person not show up and have that time wasted," said David Byers, director of the Administrative Office of the Arizona Courts. "This is an attempt to get it taken care of without the consequences cascading into a complete catastrophe for someone.""

New Mexico Legal Information System moves to a free access model

Our friends at Lexum shared news about the new updated NMOneSource 2.0 system.  An article from the legal website says:

"Over the last few months Lexum has been working on the new publishing website to provide free online access to all of this material, and NMOneSource 2.0 was officially launched on May 1st 2019.

The NMCC publishing infrastructure is now powered by Decisia for content management and for the delivery of case law material, Qweri for the delivery of legislative material, and Lexbox for user accounts management, content alerts, and email notifications. Lexum also designed an internal citator generating links on legal citations included in the body of documents and providing a note up feature.

As of yesterday, primary legal information from New Mexico has become available in a unified environment very similar to what Canadian legal professionals are familiar with in the context of CanLII."

Check it out at  It is pretty cool.

News from the China Internet Court

We learned in this article "Chinese Internet Court Employs AI and Blockchain to Render Judgement" published on April 25, 2019 on the Cointelegraph website.  The write:

"Zhang Wen, president of the Beijing Internet Court — which was established in September 2018, and has since processed 14,904 cases — reportedly said that the court employs technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain to render judgment.

Zhang reportedly told the Global Times that “of the 41 cases concluded [with blockchain technology] so far, parties chose to settle out of court rather than litigate in 40 cases with compelling evidence from blockchain. This fosters social credibility development in the country.” He also noted that the court had deployed blockchain in 58 cases to collect and provide evidence. Zhang said:"

Amal and George Clooney Partnering with Microsoft for TrialWatch app

An article posted on the GeekWire website, "Amal and George Clooney partner with Microsoft on an app to improve criminal justice oversight worldwide" we learned about their new app.

"TrialWatch helps trained volunteers to collect and report data on trial proceedings. The goal is to identify courtroom trends and track cases that involve vulnerable populations, like minorities, LGBTQ individuals, human rights activists, and journalists."

The app uses Microsoft Azure cloud technology and artificial intelligence tools. It’s available on iOS, Android, an Windows operating systems. Data can be recorded in a wide variety of languages and translated using Microsoft technology, including speech-to-text and machine translation features.

Kansas Reviewing Proposed E-Filing Rules

An article from the website describes the proposed rules that the Kansas Supreme Court is accepting public comment that " relate to electronic filing, court case data, and case records as the state’s judicial districts and appellate courts begin to transition to a new centralized case management system, a primary component of Kansas eCourt." The comment period ends at 5:00p.m. on Monday, May 13, 2019.

England and Wales Courts Paper Saving Quantified

A press release posted on April 18, 2019, notes that (m)ore than 500 tonnes of paper saved since 2015

What do 40 double-decker buses, 55 African elephants and 300 cars have in common?

Remarkably, the weight of each group – almost 500,000 kilograms - reflects the amount of paper saved in the last four years by a new digital system designed to improve court efficiency.

Used in all Crown Courts across England and Wales, the Digital Case System allows case material to be accessed, prepared and presented digitally by the judge, clerk, defence, prosecution, and probation. Court users working digitally are then able to access, navigate and annotate identical pages of the same document. The system recently reached the milestone of 100 million sheets of paper saved. This has improved efficiency and collaboration while saving the criminal justice system and legal professionals valuable time and money in the process.

If every piece of paper saved by the Digital Case System was placed on top of one another it would reach a height of 33,500 feet – almost 5,000 feet higher than Mt. Everest. Placed next to one another, the paper trail would stretch from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back again 10 times."

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