Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Explaining Why Court Tech Seemed to Move Slowly in 2020?


Recently I heard multiple legal technology writers bemoan the slowness that courts adopt and implement new online and similar services.  I explain why that is, and why it is likely not to get better soon in this post? It is going to be a cold winter.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Dynamic Fees for Courts


Mural in the Ariel Rios Federal Building

We can clearly foresee that the upcoming years will be difficult for governments and courts as tax revenue will take some time to recover following the Pandemic.  Court budgets being primarily composed of personnel costs will respond by not filling empty positions, layoffs, and reducing service hours and/or days.

I have an idea that could be considered to ameliorate service reductions that were introduced in recent years, famously by ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, known as “dynamic” or “surge” pricing.  I explain below.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Virtual eCourts 2020 Starts Today

A small reminder, Virtual eCourts conference starts today, December 7, 2020.  Held each day for about 4 hours, one can still sign up at for the Zoom webinar.  

Monday, November 23, 2020

eCourts 2020 Agenda Online - #eCourts2020

 As with nearly all conferences, this year eCourts 2020 is a virtual online event on December 7, 8, and 9 starting at 1:00 PM eastern standard time each day.  We have an outstanding list of presentations scheduled.  The full list is available at   Some highlights are…

Monday Sessions

Keynote – Motivating Strategies for a Remote World, presenter Thomas Topping who is a professional speaker and employee engagement expert with a master’s degree in Human Resources Management. He has spent his career transforming teams and training individuals for some of the largest organizations in the United States. His professional contributions have been described as innovative, unique, pioneering, daring, and out-of-the-box.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Texas Issues RFO for Statewide Uniform CMS

A Texas Armadillo

We learned on November 17, 2020, that:

“The Texas Office of Court Administration (OCA), a judicial branch agency that assists the Supreme Court of Texas with the administration of the Texas courts, invites submissions of offers for a statewide, integrated, comprehensive, cloud‐based uniform case management system and associated implementation services in compliance with the requirements and terms set forth in this RFO (UCMS).”

Of note, questions are due by December 8, 2020 with offer submissions due on January 21, 2020.

The full RFO announcement and documents are available online at

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

British Island of Jersey Releases CCMS “Tender”


St. Helier Harbor


I heard from our friend, Marcus Ferbrache that his court has released an RFP/Tender for a court case management system for the British Island of Jersey.  He explains below:


Monday, November 9, 2020

IJIS Virtual Summit: The New Age of Court Technology

Join the IJIS Courts Advisory Committee (ICAC) on November 17, 2020 for a no-cost technology summit focused on engaging practitioners and industry, through open and frank conversations that advance the fidelity of virtual court operations. Practitioners will provide insight on needs, priorities, and experiences while the industry shares new opportunities that technology brings to the table.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Laptops as the Court’s Standard Computer




In recent years I have often recommended projects to acquire laptops instead of desktop computers.  This recommendation is even stronger today. I explain the reasons for this approach in this week’s post below.


Friday, October 30, 2020

COVID, the Court, and the Future of the Jury Trial Summit


A free virtual summit is scheduled to be held on Friday, November 13 and continue the following Friday, November 20 from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST each day.

The summit is being organized by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and the Online Courtroom Project.  The conference writes “As courts around the country have struggled to continue operations in the face of the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, each state and the federal courts have issued their own set of guidelines to try and resume trials. However, each jurisdiction, and each judge has also implemented their own set of practices, given their resources, staffing, budget, and judgment. While most of these national, regional, and individual practices have been conducted on a trial and error basis, the goal of this conference is to provide practical recommendations on procedures, resources, and skills for both courts and attorneys who are looking to conduct jury trials in this challenging time.

This conference is free of charge. Attendees are encouraged to donate to a designated charity to assist underserved communities gain greater access to technology and the internet.

For more and to sign up go to


The photo above is from the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida’s Virtual Court Resources by Division/Case type web page at:



Thursday, October 29, 2020

Tips to Reduce Ransomware Risk and More…



In this post we share tips to protect you from malware, Harris County’s new Covid-10 juror procedure video, the new Zoom language interpretation service, and a web page showing how Covid-19 aerosol dispersion works.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

This and That in Court Technology, October 2020


Lots of news this time on court tech.  We note news about the E-Courts Conference agenda, a scientific study of reminder systems impact on court appearances, Rocketlawyer using Utah’s Regulatory Sandbox project to test innovations, why Alexa shouldn’t be installed on your court’s internal computer network, JAVS management software suite announcement,  a company that specializes in work from home setups, ransomware at Tyler Technologies, and an amazing number of Tiny Chats produced by our NCSC colleagues. 


Friday, October 9, 2020

A Domestic Violence Hand Signal for Video Calls


Just a short note today that shows how tech can really help.  In an article on, we learned a hand signal has been created that can be used by web/video conferencing users to signal domestic violence.

Elizabeth “Barajas-Román, who is the president and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network, a global philanthropic network dedicated to women and girls, wondered: How could survivors reach out and get the help they need in a safe way? The solution she landed on, with the help of a WFN partner group, was Signal for Help, a simple hand gesture that people experiencing abuse could silently use during video calls to tell friends or loved ones that they’re in trouble.” 

The result is the graphic shown above.  The website has more.

The great benefit of this approach is that it leaves no trail on messaging or e-mail systems that the abuser can find.

Pass this along.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Improving FTA/FTP Processes with Better Policy and Tech



FTA or Failure to Appear and FTP, or Failure to Pay is the source of a great percentage of warrants issued by courts along with giving great stress to those involved. 

I have been thinking about the civil unrest earlier this year and the place that failure to appear warrants seems to be involved.  In this post, I will share some recent thinking about these warrants and some tech that can help?

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Utah ODR Usability Report


The Innovation for Justice Program ( ) at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law has issued a new and insightful report titled: The Utah Online Dispute Resolution Platform: A Usability Evaluation and Report (full report available online in PDF for download here)

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Using Tech to Stop FTA's and Adjournments


With the success of web and audio hearings during the Covid-19 pandemic, courts have proven that absent/remote persons can be made available by mobile or computer.  It is time now to make this standard practice.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Comparative Statistical Model Standards


One “unicorn” (a mythical goal) in Court Technology has been that Case Management Systems will have the ability to create comparative case statistics between court systems. Policymakers love that idea so they can compare and punish/reward, but also perhaps better understand policy differences. The announcement that got me thinking about this is the recent NIEM 5.0 announcement that included as part of their update preparation for the future addition of GISM (Generic Statistical Information Model).

Also, understand that the ideal statistical comparison system doesn’t stop between courts, it extends to the full criminal and civil court systems. That brings us to discuss the new announcements and what they might mean for our future unicorn hunting.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Tech Tip - Scheduling E-Mail Reminders


We have noted the increasing adoption of text reminders to case parties by the courts before.  In this short “tech tip” post we will consider how we can add an automatic reminder via e-mail and even set up an online shared scheduling system?  

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Thomson Reuters Announces Two New Judicial Tools


Two announcements from Thomson Reuters, Quick Check Judicial, and the acquisition of the Caselines system. 

August 19, 2020 – Thomson Reuters has introduced Quick Check Judicial, a new Westlaw Edge feature within Quick Check. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Mobile Device Tools for Courts


Many courts and judicial systems have configured their websites for mobile/cell phone screen size.  But many other courts have not.  Considering that over 90% of mobile/cell phone users have Internet access from their device, maybe the focus of your online information delivery approach might shift?  We discuss two tools that might help?

Friday, July 31, 2020

Are Current Courthouses Wrong for the Post Pandemic World?

The Covid-19 Pandemic has been an opportunity to re-examine how courts and legal business is done.  We have written many articles about new ideas and experiments in recent months. Now it is time to think long-term about courthouses themselves as they are the second biggest expense after the judges and staff?  Let’s begin:

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Economics of Court Technology

In June 2020 Los Angeles Superior Court announced the “LACourtConnect” program to facilitate web/video/audio appearance.  It is among many efforts to enable remote court access.  But there is more about this that is important that I will discuss below.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Courts Posting Zoom Conference ID’s and Passwords

Some news came in from several courts.  It is reported that Zoom web conferencing proceedings are being interrupted because the courts are publicly posting the time, link, and passwords on their websites.

Stop it!

We apply security in the physical courthouse. It should be the same in cyberspace.  

First, instead of openly posting the Zoom information, one can have a request system to attend the conference.  This is the security officer/body scanning approach. The request system message can then be reviewed by staff and the approved link and password then sent via e-mail or text to the person.    

I can see that a court might not want to spend the time/cost to program a request system?  The church I attend uses Eventbrite, but this article lists 20 alternatives.  

Second, if one wishes to make the entire proceeding public, then one can use Zoom’s ability to stream via YouTube? The Texas Supreme Court and others (I watched a hearing from the Guyana Supreme Court this morning) have used this approach.  

This is not hard.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

This and That in Court Technology - July 2020

Assateague Island Wild Ponies

We have news about a report on protection order repositories, a drive-up clerk’s office that protects uses and staff, comments on impediments in the application of court and legal technology, the HiiL Charging for Justice report, the NIEM 5.1 beta standard announcement, AI closed captioning systems compared, and fun Zoom and Teams web video meeting backgrounds.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

eCourts 2020 Summer Survey

We could use your help figuring out eCourts 2020.

We hope you and your family are staying safe with all that's going on in the world. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is staying on top of developing challenges we all face, including COVID, job-related stresses, travel, and budget cuts. 

eCourts 2020 is a mere five months away, and while we have an excellent education, networking, and exhibit show planned, the possibility of not being able to have a face-to-face conference is still up in the air. 

We could use your help. Please take a few minutes to complete a quick survey.  Click here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Actionable Cybersecurity for Courts

  A new NCSC report written by Sajed Naseem, Court Information Security Officer, New Jersey Courts, Jannet A. Okazaki, Principal Court Management Consultant, NCSC, and Barbara Holmes, Principal Court Management Consultant, NCSC was released last month. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

This and That in Court Technology - Summer Solstice 2020 Edition

Since many of us are still social distancing, I thought it would be nice to enjoy the upcoming summer solstice sunrise with the following news from the court tech world?  In this edition, we share a new NCSEA webinar, a Court Leader podcast on how courts are dealing with the pandemic, news about a Trinidad and Tobago online murder trial, the US Federal Courts restarting jury trials report, news from courts in Southeast Asia, and a new handy Microsoft Windows 10 feature.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

CCMS Part 21: Comments on Project Management, Acquisition, and Development

Sculpture at Davidson Co Courthouse
Old Davidson County Tennessee Courthouse sculpture by Brent Moore

Over the years I have picked up some ideas that I think can help many court technology projects.  In this penultimate post to the Court Case Management System (CCMS) series, we wish to share some of those ideas and lessons learned.  We will specifically discuss acquisition strategies, buy versus build, and sustainability. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Online Courtroom Project Announced

Via Press Release:

Announcing the formation of THE ONLINE COURTROOM PROJECT

In an era of social distancing, how do we stay together to ensure that justice is still done? How can we protect our constitutional right to be judged by a jury of our peers if we are required to stay physically apart? How do we ensure our constitutional access to justice when some courthouse doors are locked? Is justice possible when parties, witnesses, and even triers of fact appear online? These are pressing questions for our legal system and our democracy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

First remote jury trial shows potential for widespread use

From @the Center newsletter by the NCSC on May 5, 2020

Let the record show that history was made at 8 a.m. CDT Monday, May 18, 2020, in northeast Texas, where 26 potential jurors met in the comfort of their homes for the nation’s first-ever remote jury trial, presided over by two judges, one of whom was making sure the technology worked the way it should.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

This and That in Court Technology May 2020

In this month’s highlights we share information about the PASS (Public Access Software Spec), our NCSC Tiny Chat about digital signatures, e-notarization and digital notice, Tyler’s Virtual Court offering, virtual court hearings in Nigeria, an electronic hearing practice guide posted by the Trinidad and Tobago Judiciary, and special offers by Microsoft for public safety and non-profits in response to the pandemic.

Friday, May 1, 2020

May First 2020, Court Tech News and Notes

In this compilation of news items, we share several from the National Center for State Courts including the upcoming “Virtual Doctor Is In” Sessions, news about the Supreme Court ruling on Georgia’s law Copywrite assertion, a new speech to text system, and some words of wisdom.

Friday, April 24, 2020

And Now for Something Completely Different

To quote Monty Python, we have some different court tech subject matter to share in this post. 

The COSCA/NACM Joint Technology Committee has issued two new Resource Bulletins.  The first is an "Introduction to AI for Courts".  The second is "Getting Started with a Chatbot."

More below…

Monday, April 20, 2020

eFileTexas 2.0 RFO Issued

Big Tex at the Texas State Fair
The Texas Office of Court Administration is providing an official notification of an RFO titled “eFileTexas 2.0”.

 The Texas Office of Court Administration (OCA), a judicial branch agency that assists the Supreme Court of Texas with the administration of the Texas courts, invites submissions of offers for systems and services for a statewide cloud‐based, COTS electronic filing system, a document access system, a redaction component, and a forms assembly solution (“eFileTexas 2.0” or “Solution”).

Friday, April 17, 2020

It’s Happening

A meme from Arrested Development, Season 3, Episode 1
I think that many of our friends in Court Technology are astounded at the rapid changes that have been implemented in the courts in just the past five weeks?  Today’s post will list a few of the many uses of web and audio conferencing along with the rules and procedures including a terrific website by CTC 2019 keynote speaker Richard Susskind, SCOTUS instituting audio oral arguments available to the public starting in May 2020, Texas Supreme Court arguments, YouTube streaming, and technical guidance, and Michigan’s Virtual Courtroom Task Force report.

Friday, April 10, 2020

JTC Quick Response Bulletin on Virtual Hearings

Strategic Issues to Consider when Starting Virtual Hearings

Courts all over the world are adapting quickly to operational limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. As courts pivot to provide essential services without bringing the public as well as court staff into the courthouse where they could be exposed to, or could expose others to a potentially deadly virus, remote hearings are suddenly essential. In this rapidly evolving situation, courts must still bear in mind key decision points, assumptions, and challenges as well as opportunities as they go forward. This JTC Quick Response Bulletin provides important reminders designed to ensure courts succeed with these efforts while continuing to play the essential role courts play in civil society.

Click here to view/download the 7 April 2020 PDF version of the report.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Online Training on Court Tech Response to the Pandemic

There are multiple training events and podcasts on technology and management responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The NCSC is hosting an online seminar on Tuesday, April 7 at 3:00 PM EDT. 

Details on that and others are listed below:

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

US Federal Courts Announcement: Judiciary Authorizes Video/Audio Access During COVID-19 Pandemic

Press Release: Published on March 31, 2020

In order to address health and safety concerns in federal courthouses and courtrooms, the Judicial Conference of the United States has temporarily approved the use of video and teleconferencing for certain criminal proceedings and access via teleconferencing for civil proceedings during the COVID-19 national emergency.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Court Web Conferencing Tips

In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to share some tips from more than twenty years using videoconferencing and web conferencing technology for presentations, technology development and support.  We begin:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Courts and Coronavirus: Is Videoconferencing a Solution?

Video Conference Room at the Ninth Judicial Circuit, Florida

Building upon our JTC Teleservices post earlier this monthI received permission from the author (and good friend), Prof Anne Wallace of Latrobe University to re-post the following article from another friend, Norman Meyer's Court Leader blog.

The global coronavirus pandemic is having profound effects and the responses by governments, health care providers, individuals, etc., is ongoing. At this time (mid-March) we do not have all the answers and the totality of what may happen is yet to be learned. Nevertheless, there are actions we can take to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. One way this can happen is to have courts use technology to enable remote personal appearances. Today’s blog post is written by Professor Anne Wallace, whose research about the issues involved in such remote appearances provides valuable information for courts worldwide to consider as they cope with the coronavirus pandemic. Many thanks go to her for this valuable information.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

JTC Resource Bulletin: Case Studies in ODR for Courts

Since the JTC first released a publication on the topic of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in 2016, there has been a seismic shift in US courts’ practical experience as well as interest in ODR. This paper highlights ODR implementations that illustrate a sample of technologies, philosophies, and approaches to the used.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Virus Outbreak Prompts China's Courts to go Online

We learned from the South China Morning Post (via a repost from Abacus)

As a result of the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) outbreak, the courts in China have moved much of their work to online electronic services.

"The Shanghai High Court recorded a 63 percent increase in online court cases compared with the same period last year, state media reported. In addition to handling court case filings online, the court is using online platforms to handle payments, contact with judges, material submissions and other litigation services. Remote court trials are conducted over video links.

Online court technology is also being used in other parts of the country, but not everything is going smoothly. Assistant judge Ma Chengcheng of the Intermediate People’s Court in Xinyang told local media that before the trial, participants needed to be contacted by phone or WeChat and patiently walked through how to use the software."

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

eCourts 2020 Call for Proposals is Open

Our eCourts 2020 conference staff release the following announcement:

eCourts 2020 will provide opportunities to learn about both practical applications of technology as well as innovations that may impact the courts. We are reaching out to the court community for session ideas that will energize the teams of administrators, technologists, and judges who attend the eCourts conference.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

JTC Resource Bulletin - Cybersecurity Basics

In December 2019 the Joint Technology Committee (JTC) established by the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), the National Association for Court Management (NACM) and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) issued a new Resource Bulletinon Cybersecurity Basics for Courts.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

This and That in Court Technology – February 2020

Irish Beef Stew

Just like the winter Irish beef stew shown in the picture to the right, we have a mix of great projects/ingredients to share this month.  They include serious security warning for Microsoft Windows, new AI decision reader from ROSS Intelligence, Lex Machina AI expanding into state courts, the PACER fees federal appeals hearing, Alaska Emailing jury summons, and automation program news from England & Wales and a new automation budget commitment for Ireland.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

JTC Resource Bulletin - Teleservices for Courts

Teleservices is the delivery of services from a distance using telephony and/or digital technologies. There are a growing number of innovative utilizations with a track record of success in both the public and private sectors. Teleservices can be more widely utilized for some court processes, saving courts and the public time and money, better meeting client needs, reducing security risks to medical and behavioral health providers and the public, and improving the public’s access to justice.

Monday, February 10, 2020

E-Courts 2020 Registration is Open

Registration for eCourts 2020 is open. The conference runs December 7–9, 2020, at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. You should register today to book at our lowest block pricing.


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Report on Court Appearances in Criminal Proceedings Through Telepresence

McGlothlin Courtroom - William and Mary Law School

I had the pleasure of participating, along with many court and academic friends, in the focus group on using Telepresence (video conferencing)for an excellent report released this month from RAND Corporation via their Priority Criminal Justice Needs Program funded by the National Institute of Justice.

More below:

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Legislatures Considering Text Notification Statutes

Our fellow NCSC blog, Gavel to Gavel, posted an interesting article today regarding legislatures in Colorado, Tennessee, and Massachusetts to require... yes, require courts to be able to send reminders to court participants. 

Three state legislatures consider programs to require courts notify defendants by text of upcoming court hearings

Bills in three states have been filed in the last month to require state courts (in particular the various administrative offices of the courts) to develop text reminder system.