QUESTIONS

Q: To what extent will the court records be interactive with attorneys in the court room? If they are interactive will there be implications to the impartiality of judges if one party is more involved in the electronic interactivity?

A: THERE ARE A LOT TOOLS THAT HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED FOR COURTROOM INFORMATION USE. ONE OF THEM – RINGTAIL – IS USED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE TO DEAL WITH LITERALLY MOUNTAINS OF EVIDENCE AND ACTS AS A COLLABORATION SPACE FOR THE JUDGES AND ATTORNEYS TO ORGANIZE INFORMATION. AND OF COURSE THERE ARE A LOT OF TRIAL SUPPORT SOFTWARE. (e.g. ABA Comparison Chart for Litigation Support Software)

THE MIDTOWN MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COURT PIONEERED ELECTRONIC CASE ORGANIZATION IN 1994. IN THE YEARS AFTER IT WENT INTO OPERATION CRIME DECREASED AND THE COURT BECAME A COMMUNITY RESOURCE TO PLACE PERSONS IN NEED IN PROGRAMS. AND HOW DID THEY DO THAT? IT WAS BECAUSE THE SYSTEM WAS CONNECTED TO THE SERVICE PROGRAMS FOR ALCOHOL, MENTAL HEALTH, ETC. INFORMATION IS POWER.





Q: What was that search program, Jim? (Asked in beginning of question period)

A: X1 DESKTOP SEARCH - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED





Q: How do you convince legislatures to fund technology when they are busy cutting judicial budgets?

A: see Calculating an E-Court Return on Investment (ROI)



Q: Are there standards for redacting private information from documents before making them available to the public?

A: COURTS ARE SETTING THEIR OWN STANDARDS. A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE DEVELOPED THE REDACTION PROGRAM THAT IS LISTED ON HIS WEBSITE: http://www.intellidact.com/.



Q: In my experience many Judges are very negative on technology innovations. Is that common?

A: I THINK IT ABOUT THE SAME AS THE GENERAL POPULATION. I THINK HOWEVER THAT THERE REALLY HAVEN’T BEEN MANY SYSTEMS DEVELOPED THAT ADDRESS THE JUDGE’S NEEDS. ONE I SHOWED DURING THE PRESENTATION IS DESCRIBED IN THIS COURT TECH BULLETIN POST:



Q: Jim, I am currently living in Croatia which I notice is one of the countries where you have done consulting services. In my experience they are very backward when it comes to technology. How do you over come that or did you? [Or how do you deal with any techno-phobia or other problems with technology]

A: I VISITED ZAGREB MANY YEARS AGO TO HELP WITH A PROJECT WITH THE MUNICIPAL COURT. MY VIEW IS THAT ANY COURT AUTOMATION SYSTEM SHOULD HELP PEOPLE DO THEIR WORK. THAT WORK IS CREATING DOCUMENTS, SCHEDULING AND RECORDING RESULTS, AND COMMUNICATING THOSE RESULTS. I THINK SYSTEMS THAT FOCUS ON WORK PRODUCTION ARE MORE SUCCESSFUL COMPARED TO THOSE THAT ARE ONLY DATA REPOSITORIES.



Q: It would be good if someone could create a standard in the US for protecting PII in court records - Possible homework question - draft something to do this?

A: THERE IS A LOT OF WORK BEING DONE IN THIS AREA. MY NEIGHBORS HERE IN WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA, THE CENTER FOR LEGAL AND COURT TECHNOLOGY HOLD A CONFERENCE YEARLY ON THE ISSUES INVOLVED. THE WEBSITE FOR THIS PAST NOVEMBER’S CONFERENCE IS HERE.



Q: What language is this written in? (the court system shown that was implemented in Croatia? - second or third slide)

A: THE SYSTEM SHOWN WAS CREATED FOR BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA. IT IS ORACLE DATABASE AND ORACLE FORMS AS IT WAS THEIR TECHNOLOGY STANDARD AT THE TIME IT WAS CREATED. IT IS NOW RUNNING IN ALL LEVELS OF COURT IN BIH AND I UNDERSTAND WAS BEING EXPANDED TO THE PROSECUTORS.



Q: Courts are overload and underfunded - what’s the solution? More money or better efficiency?

A: YES. I THINK THAT COURTS HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ASKED TO HELP FUND THEMSELVES. SEE:
Courts Have Always Charged Fees


BUT COURTS ALSO NEED BETTER MEASURES AND METRICS IN ORDER TO ACCURATELY ARGUE THEIR CASE FOR APPROPRIATE STAFFING, FACILITIES, AND FUNDING.


Q: If we make efiling too easy, will that encourage frivelous lawsuits?

A: IT HASN’T REALLY BEEN A PROBLEM TO DATE. WE HAVE BEEN E-FILING IN COURTS FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS. AUSTRIA WAS THE FIRST IN 1990 FOLLOWED BY THE CHANCERY COURT IN DELAWARE. WE EVEN HAVE A US DISTRICT COURT ACCEPTING E-FILING FROM A LOCAL PRISON IN ILLINOIS. AND BESIDES, IT IS REALLY EASY TO EITHER DENY OR VACATE AN E-FILING.



Q: Any comment on the recent class action filed against Thomson Reuters & Lexis about the alleged copyright infringement of briefs?

A: THIS ACTION HAS BEEN TRIED BEFORE SO IT ISN’T A NEW/UNIQUE IDEA. TO MY KNOWLEDGE THE EARLIER EFFORTS WERE NOT SUCCESSFUL.



Q: What are those little black discs in the Fort Wayne Courthouse picture?

A: THEY ARE THE AUDIO REINFORCEMENT SPEAKERS. NOT VERY PRETTY. IT WAS A RETROFIT. ONE OF THE REASONS I VISITED WAS TO WORK WITH THE COURT ON CLEANING UP TECHNOLOGY AND PROCEDURES TO MAKE THEM WORK BETTER.



Thanks to Jim McMillian for taking the time to answer these questions.