What's in this guide?
Summarized results of the 2015 survey and the innovations being put into place by many appellate courts.
For more information about the Appellate Innovations Survey, please email John Doerner.
This page includes a number of technological innovations that have become widespread among state appellate courts. There is a listing under each application that reports individual courts among the respondents to the 2015 appellate innovations survey - some appellate courts may have implemented these technologies subsequent to the survey or did not submit responses.
Along with the raw numbers, it is important to note that the term “electronic filing” means different things in different courts. For example, included among the responses were that electronic filing was in a limited pilot stage, that hard copy pleadings were required in addition to electronic documents, and other courts operated primarily with hard copies but also permitted voluntary participation by filing a digital copy of pleadings on a disk or as an email attachment.
15 of the 25 respondents (60.0%) reported using electronic filing; these courts were:
IAC – 24 of the 33 respondents (73%) reported using electronic filing; these courts were:
As with electronic filing, the means by which electronic records of trial court pleadings are obtained varies among the affirmative respondents. These variations included partial applications in states where only a small number of trial courts produced electronic records and COLRs that scan the trial court pleadings in order to create an electronic record.
The most cited benefit of electronic records is the ease of access from any location and availability of the record to multiple persons at one time. In addition, trial court records are more likely to be complete, reducing the need to supplement the record.
17 of the 25 respondents (68.0%) reported using electronic records; these courts were:
IAC – 24 of the 33 respondents (73.0%) reported using electronic records; these courts were:
Appellate courts also showed variations in how they acquire and utilize electronic transcripts. Variations included use of video recordings of trial court proceedings to searchable pdf files. The capability of searching the transcript for words and phrases was cited most frequently as the primary benefit associated with electronic transcripts but, as with electronic records, access from any location and availability to multiple persons at one time were also noted.
COLR – 15 of the 25 respondents (60.0%) reported using electronic transcripts; these courts were:
IAC – 21 of the 33 respondents (64.0%) reported using electronic transcripts; these courts were:
Document management systems, in their basic form, provide for the storage, versioning, indexing, retrieval and security of an appellate court’s case-related (and perhaps administrative) documents. Functionality and usefulness is enhanced when the system is; integrated with the appellate court’s case management system, allowing case documents to be retrieved instantly from the corresponding docket entry, and; includes a workflow component which enables documents to be electronically forwarded to the next assigned individual or group, based on established business processes. The responding courts indicated a broad range of capabilities associated with their individual document management systems.
COLR – 18 of the 25 respondents (72.0%) reported using a document management system; these courts were:
IAC – 25 of the 33 respondents (76.0%) reported using a document management system; these courts were: