JTC Publications and Webinars

Items marked with an indicates additional webinar materials.

Managing Evidence for Virtual Hearings
(Version 1.0, adopted June 2020)
As a result of stay-at-home orders tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, courts in most states are conducting virtual hearings: using technology to facilitate a hearing without the judge and the parties being physically gathered in one location. Evidence is a key aspect of those virtual hearings. Much can be gleaned from the ways other types of organizations do business virtually. However, courts have unique needs that require thoughtful attention as they impact how evidence is submitted, stored, and shared to support a virtual hearing.

Judicial Perspectives on ODR and Other Virtual Court Processes
(Version 1.0, adopted May 2020)
Just a few months ago, most US courts significantly lagged behind banking, education, retail, healthcare, and other industries in the use of technology. Until mid-March 2020, that is, when US courts suddenly, overwhelmingly embraced some uses of technology, almost overnight, because they had to. Virtual hearings and ODR are opening up new possibilities that are not only keeping courts functioning during the pandemic, but also showing promise in helping resolve seemingly intractable access to justice issues. When the dangers of the COVID-19 virus have passed, courts anticipate a surge of filings. ODR and virtual hearings can “scale” to meet surges in demand in ways that traditional processes cannot. Out of necessity in response to an unprecedented pandemic, courts are boldly embracing changes that are bringing more court processes into line with available technologies and public expectations

Fostering Innovation in Legal Services: Testing Legal Regulatory Changes in a Protected "Sandbox"
(Version 1.0, adopted May 2020)
The most practical strategy for solving the access to justice gap is to harness the power of the market. However, regulations meant to protect consumers also prevent innovation that is essential for the industry to keep pace with available technologies, unmet demand for services, and consumer expectations. A regulatory “sandbox” is a method that has proven useful in other industries to test innovations, business process improvements, and new technologies based on how they perform. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity to prioritize legal regulatory reform. With most courts now relying on virtual hearings and telework options that were unthinkable only months ago, there is a new openness to considering broader issues and a willingness to grapple with new technologies and ways of doing business. Some legal innovators think a sandbox may help the legal industry transform to better meet 21st century demands, improving access to justice.

Getting Started with a Chatbot
(Version 1.0, adopted April 2020)
Chatbots are commonly used in customer-facing organizations to better serve the public. Courts are currently experiencing a unique time of both urgent and overwhelming needs in some parts of the organization, while other staff may be under-utilized. Courts might consider tapping the expertise of staff sidelined by stay-at-home orders to begin gathering information and creating content for a court assistance chatbot.

Strategic Issues to Consider when Starting Virtual Hearings
(Version 1.0, adopted April 2020)
As courts rapidly pivot to provide access to services remotely, there are key decisions, assumptions, and potential challenges as well as opportunities to bear in mind as they go forward. This JTC Quick Response Bulletin provides important reminders designed to help courts succeed with efforts to provide virtual hearings.

Introduction to AI for Courts
(Version 1.0, adopted March 2020)
Many court technology systems today are leveraging some forms of AI. However, there are many more use cases where AI technologies might advantageously be brought to bear in the court setting.

Case Studies in ODR for Courts
(version 2.0, adopted January 2020)
Since the JTC first released a publication on the topic of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in 2016, there has been a seismic shift in US courts’ practical experience as well as interest in ODR. This paper highlights ODR implementations that illustrate a sample of technologies, philosophies, and approaches to the use of technology in dispute resolution.

Cybersecurity Basics for Courts
(version 2.0, adopted December 2019)
Cybersecurity threats are a reality for all organizations, public and private. In spite of good prevention efforts, every court will almost certainly face a cybersecurity incident including data breach or cyberattack. This paper provides a basic explanation of prevention techniques and the preparations necessary for court managers to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a cybersecurity incident.

Teleservices for Courts
(version 1.0, adopted August 2019)
Teleservices is the delivery of services from a distance using telephony and/or digital technologies. There are a growing number of innovative utilizations with a track record of success in both the public and private sectors. Teleservices can be more widely utilized for some court processes, saving courts and the public time and money, better meeting client needs, reducing security risks to medical and behavioral health providers and the public, and improving the public’s access to justice.

Leveraging Open Source Resources
(version 1.0, adopted April 2019)
The world runs on software. Both public and private sector organizations are
increasingly utilizing non-proprietary open source code. Courts have yet to significantly
leverage open source options and fully participate in shared repositories. Leveraging
open source solutions can help courts expedite the process of adopting innovations that
would otherwise be too costly to pursue. Utilizing open source code and repositories will
create opportunities for collaboration, bringing the best ideas in the broader court
community to play in many individual court organizations.

Social Media Marketing for Courts
(version 1.1, adopted December 2018)
Social media is one of the most powerful and cost-effective, albeit underutilized, marketing tools for sharing the court’s message. Courts, however, have been slow to tap into the unique advantages of popular platforms. More and more Americans look to social media as their primary source of news, information, and entertainment, as well as social connection. Public discourse today happens on social media.

GDPR for US Courts
(version 1.0, adopted September 2018)
In May of 2018, new data privacy and security regulations went into effect in the European Union. Overnight, it seems, GDPR-compliance has become “best practice” expectation well beyond the boundaries of the EU. If EU data privacy standards were applied to US courts, the sensitive nature of court data would warrant the most stringent protections.

Marketing a Court Website: Helping the Public Find the Court Online
(version 1.0, adopted July 2018)
As courts implement more public-facing technologies via the web, court managers must become more savvy in their efforts to help the public find and utilize them. Search marketing, including search engine optimization and search engine marketing, is a powerful and cost-effective communication tool. Giving attention to search marketing can help courts improve the administration of justice and better serve their communities.

NCSC Trends in State Courts: When Might Blockchain Appear in Your Court
(January 2018)
Blockchain is a set of technologies that creates an encrypted, distributed ledger. Probably the best-known application of Blockchain is the digital currency Bitcoin.

ODR for Courts
(version 2.0, updated and adopted November 2017)
Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) encompasses a broad array of technologies used to resolve a growing variety of business and consumer disputes throughout the world. It has grown to become a distinct and particularly effective dispute resolution mechanism. Courts have implemented ODR for low-dollar personal injury claims, landlord tenant, small claims, and minor traffic and code enforcement violations.

Case Studies in ODR for Courts: A View From the Front Lines
(version 1.0, adopted November 2017)
Pioneering ODR efforts are unfolding around the world. Many courts and justice organizations are looking for signs that ODR technologies are beyond the major pitfalls of early adoption (the “bleeding edge”) and that successes can be leveraged and replicated. The use of information and communications technology (ICT) to help parties resolve their disputes is an encouraging trend with notable benefits to parties with disputes and the organizations (public or private) chartered with resolving those disputes.

Introduction to the Next-Generation Court Technology Standards Application Component Model
(version 1.0, adopted November 2017)
Court software solutions and, in particular, case management systems (CMSs) have traditionally been implemented as monolithic solutions provided by a single vendor. This one-size-fits-all approach has proven ineffective in today’s world of constantly changing requirements and increasing use of technology.

State Justice Institute: Automated Redaction Proof of Concept Report
(September 2017)
In July 2017, the National Center for State Courts published “Best Practices for Court Privacy Policy Formulation,” describing the State Justice Institute-funded project to update model public access and privacy guidelines published by the Conference of State Court Administrators in 2002.

State Justice Institute: Best Practices for Court Privacy Policy Formulation
(July 2017)
The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) conducted two facilitated focus groups to produce this report. One focus group considered revisions to the original 2002 COSCA guidelines white paper on privacy and access policies.

Courts Disrupted
(version 1.0, adopted May 2017)
Technology and innovation have the power to improve as well as disrupt business processes in the court community. Innovative disruption from companies like Uber, Amazon, and Airbnb are shaping business practices in the private sector. The public sector, including courts, will not remain untouched by disruptive innovation. Court managers can leverage the concept of disruptive innovation to make justice available to a wider audience at a lower cost while preserving fairness, neutrality, transparency, and predictability in the judicial process.

Using Technology to Improve Pretrial Release Decision-Making
(version 1.0, adopted February 2016)
Despite monumental success in automating case management processes for court clerks, court systems fall short in meeting the case processing, judicial decision making, and management needs specific to trial court judges on the bench and in chambers. Recognizing this gap, the Joint Technology Committee (JTC) appointed a Judicial Tools Working Group in December 2013 to research and document those technology and judicial case management needs.

Managing Digital Evidence in Courts
(version 1.0, adopted February 2016)
Technologies including smart phones and body-worn cameras are capturing an ever-increasing volume of evidence. The exponential increase in the quantity of digital evidence is challenging the court’s ability to receive, evaluate, protect, and present digital evidence. This report identifies potential challenges and recommends steps courts should consider.JTC Resource Bulletin: Implementing Judicial Tools (version 1.0, adopted February 2016)

Judicial Tools are applications that address the day-to-day operational needs of judges. A judicial tools project is smaller than a case or document management system project and will require a different approach than other court technology initiatives.  This paper provides a basic explanation of technology options and implementation considerations for courts planning a judicial tools initiative.

Making the Case for Judicial Tools
(version 1.0, adopted December 2014)
Despite monumental success in automating case management processes for court clerks, court systems fall short in meeting the case processing, judicial decision making, and management needs specific to trial court judges on the bench and in chambers. Recognizing this gap, the Joint Technology Committee (JTC) appointed a Judicial Tools Working Group in December 2013 to research and document those technology and judicial case management needs.

Responding to a Cyberattack
(version 1.0, adopted February 2016)
Cybersecurity threats are increasing for all organizations, public and private. In spite of good prevention efforts, every court will almost certainly face a cybersecurity incident including data breach or cyberattack. This paper provides a basic explanation of the preparations necessary for court managers to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a cybersecurity incident.

User Groups
(version 1.0, adopted April 2015)
Implementing and adopting useful technologies cannot be accomplished in a single “training” session or event. It is a process that can, however, be accelerated with the help of an effective technology user group. When people band together to share what they know, the result is a community with more knowledge, better technology utilization, and higher overall satisfaction with technology. This paper explains the value of building a court technology user community, and provides suggestions for creating and managing a user group in the court environment.

Developing an Electronic Records Preservation and Disposition Plan
(version 1.0, adopted December 2014)
Courts have long had records retention and destruction schedules for paper case records. However, courts often lack the staffing resources needed to actually go through old files, sort and then destroy records. Thus, many such standing court record retention and destruction policies are generally permissive in nature, not closely followed and out-of-date in this new era of digital records.

EMV and Credit Card Liability: What Courts Need to Know
(version 1.0, adopted December 2014)
While addressing the requirements of EMV payment processing, courts should also evaluate the possibility of simultaneously incorporating other payment technologies, including contactless EMV and Near Field Communication (NFC).

Big Data: What State Courts Should Know
(version 1.0, adopted December 2014)
While court data does not meet the criteria to qualify as Big Data, this data can and should be used to learn a great deal more than is currently known about the management of cases and the parties involved. By better utilizing their small but highly structured data, courts can gain insight into current business problems, and manage cases more efficiently and effectively.

Cloud Computing
(version 1.0, adopted December 2014)
Properly deployed cloud services offer a variety of potential benefits that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of records and information management in the judiciary. It is important to understand cloud computing service models, deployment options, security risks, and implementation challenges when considering cloud computing.

Triage Protocols for Litigant Portals: A Coordinated Strategy between Courts and Service Providers
(December 2013)
The central importance of triage within the legal system is increasingly recognized by numerous stakeholders in the justice system, including court administrators seeking to gain financial efficiencies through technology, legal service providers allocating the scare resource of attorney assistance and judicial officers who must maintain fair proceedings when litigants are self-represented.

Strategic Issues to Consider before Starting an E-filing Initiative
(version 1.0, adopted July 2013)
E-filing is more than a transfer of a document to the court electronically. It includes the notion that some data and metadata will populate the court case management system (CMS) at the same time the filing documents and fees related to the documents are received and electronically served. E-filing is thus one aspect of converting the court business to a model based upon an electronic record.