If you’re lucky enough to live in an area of the country that experiences all four seasons in all their glory, you are very familiar with the sights of Fall. Temperatures drop, pumpkin spice is everywhere, and the trees brighten up the landscape with reds, oranges, and yellows. It’s fascinating to think about the process trees go through year after year. As the seasons change, trees must adapt appropriately. They bloom in spring when the day is bright and temperatures are ideal, they produce fruits and nuts during the summer after months of harnessing energy from the sun, they start to lose their foliage come the fall in preparation for harsh winters, and they “sleep” away the coldest months of the year.
Ask yourself this question: is the justice system like a tree? Does it know when and how to adapt to changing environments? As humans, we are constantly faced with new experiences. No one is expected to navigate them flawlessly right away, but taking steps in the right direction is important. Trees don’t decide to lose all their leaves on a single day; that would bee too much of a change for them to work through. Like trees, changes within the courts don’t have to be immediate, or drastic, to be impactful.
That being said, it’s important to continue making changes – no matter how small – that place the courts in the best position to help serve the community. It’s never too late to start implementing new ideas! Court technology is advancing quickly, and adopting these solutions is one of the best ways your court can adapt to the world around it. Technology plays an important role in our daily lives and is being relied on more heavily within the public sector. We aren’t simply referring to upgrading computers and downloading updates (though you should do those things too). Court technology is a breed all its own, designed to solve specific problems that slow down proceedings and delay justice.
Countless courts are taking inspiration from trees and have begun to accept the change to new tech-based processes. The results speak for themselves; technology is proven to reduce delays, streamline processes, and improve communication within and between departments. Solutions such as eFiling make filing case documents a simple as a few clicks, while others like Digital Evidence Management make valuable information accessible 24/7 to everyone who needs it. Digital innovations take some of the most tedious jobs in the justice system and make them simple and faster. As the world around us changes to involve more technology, courts must be able to accommodate new file types and methods.
In what was a very unprecedented year, the courts were forced to expedite their changes. Everything went virtual, and physical buildings were shut down for months. Because many courts had not been steadily implementing digital solutions, they were caught off guard and had to rush to catch up. Similar to unexpected frosts that can cause trees and other plants to kick off winter preparation much faster than normal. While doable, it’s certainly not something that you should make a habit of. Slow and steady changes ensure proper implementation and training so that the justice system can reap the most rewards from each solution.
As we approach the end of summer and the start of autumn, we encourage you to look at your department and determine just how prepared for change it is. Do you have new court technology in place? Do you have plans laid out to help you get into the best position possible within our current environment? If you feel that your court is lagging behind, you can be the one to initiate change. Bring forward suggestions about what solutions would be beneficial and why. Craft arguments to convince more personnel to join your fight in becoming a more agile and adaptive workplace. If you’re not sure what to suggest, here are some ideas that other courts have implemented:
Electronic Filing to reduce paper pushing and make case document management accessible 24/7
Electronic Signatures to collect authorized signatures in a timely manner without ever leaving the office
Digital Evidence Management to store, normalize, and playback new multimedia evidentiary files that are becoming more prevalent in the courtroom
Online Dispute Resolution to provide more affordable settlements via online conferencing or AI mediation
When you learn to anticipate change, you will continue to flourish and grow. Use the rest of this month to create some plans, and get to work putting them into action. Court technology is here to help you succeed, you just need to put in a bit of work to make the transition possible. Need other ideas for how you can become more adaptable? Our experts are always happy to talk! We’ve helped courts across the US implement innovative solutions, and we’d love to assist you as well.
All across the globe courts are handling more and more cases involving technology. Society is driven by digital means, and the court system is working to stay on top of trends, create new regulations, and decide on cases involving technology disputes.
Online Dispute Resolution is the Future of Mediation and Arbitration
We don’t need to explain how the pandemic uprooted life as we know it. You’re living it, we’re living it, and we hear about it every time we visit the internet or switch on the news. All we will say is that the justice system has had to adapt many practices and processes due to COVID. We had the opportunity to speak with Susan Guthrie, Esq. about one of the most successful innovations to grow a following over the past few years, Online Dispute Resolution.
Electronic Arraignments for Integratable, Efficient Court Proceedings
Washtenaw, Michigan, a Top 10 Digital County, is no stranger to The Paperless Productivity Podcast, so it’s our pleasure to welcome back Jeff Arbogast, Application Specialist for the esteemed Washtenaw County, to chat about their OnBase-powered, electronic arraignment process.
In this to-the-point episode, Jeff talks us through the multi-faceted “eArraignment” process as it relates to both walk-in and pre-scheduled proceedings, case preparation from the Clerk’s perspective, and workload balance for the Judge.
The pandemic caused rapid shifts within the courts, leading to more digital/virtual options. According to trends, these high-tech solutions are here to stay and have made considerable impacts on the justice system. From new remote processes to fully remote court hearings, we might be looking at a new normal.
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.