Monday, 28 November 2011

Lots of IJIS Institute Announcements

Many announcements from the IJIS Institute:
Announcement 1:
NEW Information Sharing LinkedIN Group
Please join the IJIS Institute’s new LinkedIN Group:  Justice & Public Safety Information Sharing.  The Group is a technology forum for practitioners and industry from the state, local, and tribal justice and public safety communities.  The forum encourages organizations and individuals to share information about cross-agency, cross-jurisdictional, and cross-sector information sharing.  Participants will  discuss and share information on technology and standards to facilitate and assist one another to achieve information sharing.  In just three weeks, 376 of your industry colleagues from across the country have joined the information sharing discussion.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

There's an App for That Court

1st Judicial District of
PA Android QR code
Courts are now making their information "smart phone" accessible.

First, from The Pennsylvania Record legal journal ( in an article from October 14, 2011:

"Are you an attorney looking for easier access to upcoming civil trial dates? How about simply a member of the general public looking to learn more about the judicial system in the City of Philadelphia?

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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Iterative Implementation

In recent years I have become less and less convinced that courts have the ability to foresee all of the process/workflow, document, and data sharing BEFORE they install a new case or document management system.  These new systems have substantially more capabilities and flexibility that is not available in first or second generation case management systems.  The new system brings many more new capabilities and possibilities.  The old thinking about how things should be done in general does not apply and the design/specification efforts are wasted.

Therefore in recent years I have often advocated an “iterative approach” that has a new system first installed in the court with base/default capabilities.   THEN, after experiencing the new system environment, the court adjusts both the system workflows/presentation and their business processes (and ideally organizational structure) to take advantage of the new technical capabilities.  Visually presented, these are the two outside arrows of the Court Technology Framework diagram in action.

The system is therefore chosen based on the tools and potential, and not on how closely it fits the existing or imagined situation.  This in turn means that new court automation system installations are not a 6 month but rather a 12-24 effort.  And budgets and staff resources must be provided to support the effort over that time.

Many of you know and have viewed the wonderful TED Conference presentations that are available online.  One presentation on point is called “Build a tower, build a team” by Tom Wujec. I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Signing Documents on Your iPad?

As many of you know, Apple iPads are already widely adopted by the judicial community.  One issue/desire that has arisen is the ability for judges to "sign" documents.  But unfortunately the late Steve Jobs rejected the idea that a "pen interface" was needed as standard equipment in opposition to the Tablet systems previously released by Microsoft.

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Friday, 4 November 2011

Maryland Chooses Statewide CMS & E-Filing Vendor

In a press release on November 3, 2011, it was announced that the State of Maryland Judiciary has selected Tyler Technologies' "Odyssey® court management system as the single, integrated environment for managing and reporting court information".

According to the announcement:

"The contract between Tyler and the State of Maryland is valued at approximately $45 million, which includes software licensing fees, professional services and a multi-year maintenance agreement. The MDEC Project will use several Odyssey modules, including Case Manager, Enterprise Content Management, Financial Management and e-Filing.

Maryland’s search for a judicial technology partner was anchored by three strategic goals: 1) enhance public safety by more rapidly sharing high-quality data in support of better decision-making; 2) increase access to the courts by providing an easy-to-use system that’s available anywhere, anytime; and 3) support the fair and efficient administration of justice by using a system that improves overall court operations, including better scheduling, reduced delays and better-informed decisions."