I have often told acquaintances that one goal of court automation is to allow court staff to be able to have enough time to answer the telephone. But now the courts have another option. The December, 2011 edition of the US Federal Court newsletter, The Third Branch has an article on Bankruptcy courts describing their implementation of online chat titled "Chat Live Now!"
We received the following message yesterday to pass along to our community:
Maricopa County (located in Phoenix, AZ) has an outstanding career opportunity for ICJIS (Integrated Criminal Justice Information System) Director. The successful candidate will establish and oversee a project management agency to coordinate the planning, development, implementation and maintenance of and ICJIS system for Maricopa County. Salary range: $101,296 - $157,019/Yr.
Bridging "the last mile" between the clients and legal services (including courts) are important. The author concludes the article with the following:
"I don’t think any of this will square me with my property-law professor. I’m not sure I’ll ever fix property law. But I do think that by reaching out to new populations using the technologies in their pockets, we can make a difference in the way people interact with the law. And even if that’s just a little bit, even if it just enables one percent more people to protect their homes, start a business, or pursue a better life, isn’t that worth it?"
The first service is called IncaMail (PDF document link) that provides secure encrypted e-mail. An interesting aspect is that "during the initial (first time) registration, both the e-mail address and the physical address of the user are verified by sending an activation code."