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.


NCSC Offers “Virtual Doctor Is In” Sessions

With  the  COVID-19  pandemic  events, courts  face  many  challenges  and  are rethinking court operations. To assist, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is  offering  The  Virtual  Doctor  Is  In consultations during the weeks of May 4-8 and May 11-15. Our NCSC experts can provide you or your team up to an hour of free consultation regarding any issues that your court may be facing.

Suggested topic areas for The Doctor Is In sessions are: Court Management and Operation, Leadership and Governance, Access to the Courts, Children and Families, Mental Illness and the Courts, Data Statistics and Research and Technology. Please contact  Kent  Kelly at you are interested in scheduling a one-on-one telephonic or video consultation session with one of NCSC’s experts.

You will be asked to provide a  topic you wish  to discuss. NCSC experts will then contact you to schedule a virtual consultation.

NCSC Compiles Coronavirus and the Courts Resource

Our NCSC staff has been very busy compiling and continually updating the state court’s actions in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.  The main page is:

The latest compilation is available here.

 ‘A Monumental Task’

Via press release, April 21, 2020 - “How New Jersey Courts Balanced Public Safety and Access to Justice During a Worldwide Pandemic"

As the coronavirus started to take a firm grip on the state in early March, the New Jersey Judiciary immediately started planning its new mission of keeping the business of the courts running while protecting the health of its employees and the public.

That meant transforming an entire branch of government into a virtual operation. To accomplish that goal, the Judiciary had two major challenges: switching all court functions handled by the Judiciary’s nearly 10,000 employees in 600 facilities to remote operations and expanding the number of virtual
courtrooms to continue as many court matters and proceedings as possible.

Click here for the remainder/full press release.

SCOTUS Rejects State of Georgia Law Copywrite

From SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) Blog, posted Monday, April 27th, 2020 by Ronald Mann

“The decision this morning in Georgia v Public.Resource.Org resolves a technical question of copyright law, the extent to which governmental authorities can copyright (and profit from) the materials that they create. The specific question here is the copyrightability of annotations that summarize, but are not part of, the state’s body of enforceable statutes. The opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts for a 5-4 majority holds that the “government edicts” doctrine, long recognized as preventing copyright protection for judicial opinions and statutes, also applies to annotations of those statutes that are prepared at the behest of the legislature.”

This is very significant.  Click here to read the rest of the article. Speech to Text System

A Silicon Valley AI-based speech to text system is now available from  It provides the ability to record and live transcribe Zoom web conferences and other audio streams.  You can check out the interesting demonstration YouTube video here.

 Wisdom from Kevin Kelly

Last, many times I have written that my favorite tech book is Out of Control by founding Wired Magazine editor, Kevin Kelly ( 

He recently posted a “68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice” article to celebrate his 68th birthday.  Some of my favorites from the list are:

  • Experience is overrated. When hiring, hire for aptitude, train for skills. Most really amazing or great things are done by people doing them for the first time.
  • Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. To be an optimist you don’t have to ignore all the many problems we create; you just have to imagine improving our capacity to solve problems.

And for today:

  • When crisis and disaster strike, don’t waste them. No problems, no progress.

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