I’m Steve – nice to virtually meet you. I’m known as a Senior Account Executive with ImageSoft, but better recognized for some of my outlandish hobbies – raising chickens and mountain biking, to specify a couple.
I’ve found that these interests make for fantastic stories, but they’re not the most relatable experiences when trying to start a good conversation. If I told you I’m also a golf enthusiast and a dad, I’m sure we could swap stories for quite some time.
The human element is everything when it comes to understanding and relating to one another, and this concept has only become more defined over the last year with social distancing, work-from-home and virtual everything – suddenly, we’re finding nothing to talk about with people that we used to chat up all the time.
I’m starting to see very similar patterns with court technology. As you know, the “virtual court” was a hit during the height of the pandemic – so much so, that many courts have continued adopting technologies and virtual processes as a staple in their court’s practice. For an industry that has long debated even trial periods for online dispute resolution or electronic signing, this rapid adoption – let alone accelerated interest – is revolutionary.
And while not in step with traditional court styles, I’m not surprised by this pattern. After all, for possibly the first time, justice was innately humanized. Judges, attorneys, Clerks, and typically intimidating legal counsel struggled through the learning curve of video platforms just like everyone else. Even after we all got the swing of things, everyone opened up their homes on video conferences – making themselves vulnerable to dogs barking, kids playing or maybe a family member walking in behind them.
As you continue setting your court up for a successful future, I hope you see the available “court tech tools” as ways to underline the human component of the justice system – as a commonality that will never be threatened by unforeseen circumstances, such as natural disasters or global pandemics, but one that will always connect us in spite of the risks.
So which court components are on par for humanizing the justice process? From my experience and conversations with customers over the past year, I can recommend three:
- TrueSign, our electronic signing platform, takes an intuitive, email-style approach to uploading and sharing documents for eSigning. We also feature exclusive mobile signing options, such as text-to-sign or QR-code signing, that accommodate your day-to-day while validating signature integrity, such as the need to real-time sign on a conference call. The latest news is TrueSign’s new partnership with Brother, which now offers customers convenient scan-to-sign functionality. All this, of course, for a straight-forward pricing model that doesn’t nickel-and-dime you or your communities.
- Digital Evidence Management is resolving so many of the justice community’s problems relating to storing, sharing and streamlining its ever-accumulating stack of evidence. A single, centralized data repository houses all your video, images and documents while serving as the centralized hub for secure, streamlined sharing with both internal and external parties. Think about autopsy reports – with DEM, the medical examiner’s office can share reports with all necessary parties with the click of a button.
- Online Dispute Resolution has been a favorite among our court customers – turning cases around in hours rather than days, weeks or months. This one platform has everything mediators and case participants need to clear up their legal matters, including auditable histories, instant messaging, video conferencing, seamless document upload and exchange, task notifications, payment options and more. Originally ideal for traffic cases and landlord-tenant disputes, ODR has even repaved a more fluid future for misdemeanors, divorce and child support enforcement.
Now, don’t get me wrong – if you want to chat about the best chicken coop designs, I’ve got plenty to say. Chances are, though, we have more in common about humanizing court technology, such as the platforms above. Feel free to reach out about either. If we’re not too far from each other, maybe we could even chat through these options over a round of golf!
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Worth a Look: 6 Ways to Humanize Your Court
As mentioned in the article below, courts were designed to be agents of community prosperity. As we’ve all experienced, however, this is not always the case. The Court has long struggled with the means to completely live out its purpose, obstructed by insufficient access to justice and antiquated processes.
With the last year catalyzing the rise of the “virtual court,” it seems justice is finally on the right trajectory. As your Court continues adapting to and adopting the many available court tech tools, consider how your investments are also contributing to a more humanized justice experience by comparing them to the successful tactics outlined in this Courts Today article.
The Day We Realized Evidence Management was a Problem — And How We’re Solving It
The Courthouse’s IT Manager led our team down a hallway, stopping in front of what appeared to be a door to a small storage closet – when he opened it, we expected to maybe see some mops and buckets, cleaners and other housekeeping items.To our surprise, with one hand on the doorknob, the IT Manager looked at us and said, “this used to be my office.” As the door opened, it was difficult to see how big the room actually was because, from wall to wall, there were videos, CDs, hard drives, photocopies and numerous playback devices stacked ceiling high.
ODR Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Asking (and answering) The Hard Questions with the NCSC
As much as we’d love to say online dispute resolution (ODR) is a clear-cut topic, it’s not. From questions about funding and whether such a platform actually increases access to justice, to how the states and their various court types have responded to ODR’s availability – there’s a lot of gray area.
Venture into some of these hot-button topics as we ask our friends from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) about these hard questions surrounding ODR and the changing legal landscape. Through their first-hand experiences and use-case stories, NCSC’s CIO Paul Embley and Consultant Diana Graski provide refreshing, outside-the-box perspective and helpful resources to guide those interested in ODR toward a well-informed decision
The Continued Long-Term Success of the Remote Court
As an active member in the justice community, you already know the significant benefits of the virtual court: increased access to justice, drops in case defaults, faster case turnaround – the list goes on.
Courts and their communities can agree that, at the very least, a hybrid approach to justice is here to stay. Many courts have already adopted more secure, long-term versions of video conference platforms for case types, such as traffic, that are high-volume and fast turnaround. It just makes sense.
Inspired by this transformation and now more comfortable with the idea of virtual justice tools, court officials are pursuing the long-term success of this ‘remote court’ and what that will look like in terms of cost, security and reliability.
Explore more considerations for how “telepresence solutions” will modify the way courts plan and proceed in this recent Route Fifty article.
What Can We Do For You?
ImageSoft guides courts through the various challenges of becoming a paperless court. Our industry-leading solutions offer a component model methodology to automated workflows, improved speed and efficiency, reduced costs and proper compliance.
ImageSoft is ready to help your court system reap the benefits from digital transformation.