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Tracks at a Glance

Click on a track title to see all the sessions scheduled in that track.

Tools for the 21st-Century Judge

Old stereotypes die hard, and the image of the Luddite judge shackled to a paper file still exists. But anyone who interacts with judges on a regular basis knows that is not the case.  Most judges are likely to have a smart phone, tablet, or both. They communicate via Skype, text, and email, and they bank, shop, and plan travel using a number of different technology solutions.  It is a natural progression for them to expect advances in the tools and technology in the workplace.

While sophisticated case management systems have been commonplace in courts nationwide for several decades, these systems have largely overlooked opportunities to improve workflow processes for judges.  There is growing demand from judges who want more than simple access to electronic case files and documents.  They need tools that support decision making and caseload management.

This educational track will explore technology tools that can assist judges in making the transition from paper case files to an electronic bench.  This track explores both vendor and in-house developed solutions in courts with varying degrees of technical maturity.  You will gain behind-the-scenes insights and lessons learned from practitioners and experts who have implemented these solutions for judges and chambers staff.

Managing Electronic Records

As the judicial branch continues to adopt e-filing and increasingly relies on electronic records systems, courts face new challenges in ensuring the continued accessibility, integrity, and preservation of these records in the face of ongoing technical obsolescence. This educational track will highlight the emerging policy and technical issues facing the courts in this area, as well as introduce successful practices and applicable standards. 

How IT Can Design and Deliver Solutions to Create a High Performance Court

There is a wave of technological change happening, and it is happening very fast—far too fast for many courts to keep pace with. Most people are using technology in their private lives that is more sophisticated than what they use at the office. Likewise, court “customers” are increasingly more tech-savvy and expect the court to provide services “online” instead of “inline.” Yet many courts still view their court technologists as simply “order takers” who execute against their vision.

High Performance Courts, on the other hand, are characterized by a partnership between court technology, administration, and the bench. The High Performance CIO must be able to:

  • Deliver the basics (system availability, data security) and anticipate the consequences (information privacy policy);
  • Manage a staff of 50 year olds while preparing for the new staff of millennials;
  • Make build vs. buy vs. rent decisions as technology is increasingly becoming available as a brokered service;
  • Balance and align competing project priorities from judges, administrators, justice partners, and the public; and
  • Advise court leadership on where technology can take the court and how best it can support existing processes.

The Judiciary in a Virtual, Mobile, Social World

What day-to-day transactions do you conduct virtually on your mobile device?  What information do you access in near-real-time through your social networks?  How is your court using virtual communications, mobile devices, and social media to improve its operations, user experiences, and public trust and confidence?  “The Judiciary in a Virtual, Mobile, Social World” is dedicated to exploring courts’ use of these technologies throughout the lifecycle of a case, from pretrial to post-disposition, and throughout the communities they serve.

Access to Justice

How is technology being used to enhance and improve access to justice? Courts are innovating with basic technologies (kiosks and phones) as well as new technologies (interactive Web-based tools for adjudication and online avatars) and evaluating current implementations (How are self-represented litigants using e-filing?). For the purposes of this track, the term access is broadly defined to include language access, navigation of the courthouse as well as the legal process, and a wide range of technologies from basic to advanced. 

Courthouse of the Future

Many of today’s courthouses are woefully inadequate to support the work that must be done therein.  They were designed to support physical adjacencies of people, case files, justice stakeholder agencies, and other resources.  Electronic documents, videoconferencing, e-filing, and other technologies have altered the need for these adjacencies dramatically.  The sessions in this track will explore these kinds of important issues: What are the essential functions that belong in a courthouse?  How can new courthouses be designed to be more adaptable to changes coming in the next 50 years?  How can space in existing facilities be repurposed to better support judicial branch needs?  How will security, continuity of operations, and disaster-planning concerns affect courthouse design in the future?  How would the regionalization or centralization of back-office functions affect the use of rural courthouses?  Should key participants be able to appear remotely in certain types of court hearings?  Does every judge require his or her own full-function courtroom?