How Can Technology Help? The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) estimates that, collectively, courts spend well in excess of $500 million annually on information technology. Courts are being pressured to use technology to counteract budget cuts, improve customer service, meet the needs of self-represented litigants, and deal with reduced staff size. Technology is changing rapidly and courts are struggling to keep up.
The following resources provide additional information in this area:
Report of The Summit on the Use of Technology to Expand Access to Justice
(December 2013) This report describes the five components necessary to expand access to justice through the use of technology: 1. Statewide Legal Portals; 2. Document Assembly; 3. Mobile Technologies; 4. Business Process Analysis ; and 5. Expert Systems and Intelligent Checklists .
Delivering Pro Bono Advice Online
(June 24, 2013). Indiana Court Times. There is a new, statewide method of delivering pro bono advice to the public. The Indiana Bar Foundation and the Indiana Pro Bono Commission have worked with their Tennessee counterparts to bring online a system for providing legal advice to the public.
Cabral, James E. et al. Using Technology to Enhance Access to Justice. (Fall 2012). Harvard Journal of Law & Technology.
Technology to Assist Self-Represented Litigants
. Legal Services, National Technology Assistance Program, August 15, 2012.This webinar reviews online tools being created by courts and legal nonprofits to assist self-represented litigants. The focus is on videos and online tutorials that provide legal information on topics such as foreclosure and family law. Initiatives in Washington, Texas, California, Illinois, and Ohio are highlighted.
Borstein, Rick. The "Flavors" of PDF. Court Technology Bulletin. July 9, 2012.
Anderson, Hon. Paul H. Future Trends in Public Access: Court Information, Privacy, and Technology. (2011). National Center for State Courts. Future Trends in State Courts.
Bladow, Katherine and Joyce Raby. Using Social Media to Support Self-Represented Litigants and Increase Access to Justice. (2011). National Center for State Courts. Future Trends in State Courts.
Pollock, Phillip M. and Tricia Knox. Creating Accessible Documents Using Microsoft Word. (2007). Florida State Courts System This publication illustrates how to use Microsoft Word to create documents that comply with Section 508 accessibility standards. Contained within this publication are standards and best practices so that assistive technologies (like a screen reader) can effectively "translate" the information.
Richard Zorza and Donald J. Horowitz. The Washington State Access to Justice Technology Principles. (2007).
Moore, Wayne et al. Opening Technology-Supported Help Centers for the Self-Represented in Courts and Communities. Selfhelpsupport.org and the Self-Represented Litigation Network. (May 2006).
Using Technology To Assist Self-Represented Litigants . Midwest Regional Pro Se Conference. (September 7-9, 2006).