Upgrading the Courts

Fresh Intelligentsia: News and information of probable interest to the CodeX community: Today’s post focuses on the courts and recent articles from Thomson Reuters’ Legal Executive Institute’s Justice Ecosystem blog.

• “View from the Bench: Associate Circult Courts Make Slow Progress on Adapting New Technologies,” by Tad Simons. He interviewed an Associate Circuit Court judge in the midwest, who asked not be named. “In an increasingly digital society … what disturbs her most about the court’s slow adoption of digital technology is that it inhibits the public’s access to the processes of the court, and hence fair justice.

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Elen Fields

 

• “5 Questions with Elan Fields: Will Gideon Break the 80% Gap for Legal Help?” by Monica Bay. Fields is the founder of Gideon, which launched in 2016. The app uses artificial intelligence and mobile app technology to improve access to justice. Fields discusses how Gideon works, who is using it, future goals, and more.

Says Fields: “Access to justice should be understood as a human right. Yet, we live in a country where there is a fatal disconnect between the laws on the books and access to those laws and their protections.”

• “Justice Ecosystem: 6 Tips for Effective Change Management in Courtroom Technology,” by Larry Richard. There is a debate re: the advantages and disadvantages of introducing modern technology into the courtroom. “Most of the arguments center on the balance between the purported advantages of technology versus the potential unintended consequences. Often overlooked is the role that principles of psychology play in this debate. We all live in a world of increasing change and uncertainty. This kind of unprecedented change has distinct psychological consequences that affect the receptivity of court personnel to new technologies.”

Startup Snapshot: Javad Khazaeli—Roadtostatus.com 7
Javad Khazaeli

 

• “Immigration Start-Up ‘Road to Status’ Can Help Prevent Catastrophic Mistakes,” by Monica Bay. “With the current environment, it can be daunting to apply to become a U.S. citizen, or for a “green card,” especially if English is not your first language. Minor mistakes or missing deadines can result in deportation. That’s why lawyer , who has dual-citizenship in U.S and Iran, decided to dive in to help. Khazaeli (a first generation American) launched the startup Road To Status with co-founder John Bauschard, the company’s Chairman. The company launched in June 2016.” (See also, Startup Snapshot: Javad Khazaeli—Road to Status, CodeX Blog.)

Jersey CourtHack 3

• “2nd Annual CourtHack in New Jersey: Solving Vexing Blocks to Justice,” by Monica Bay. The event drew 38 participants to the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick for CourtHack, a 30-hour hackathon. The goal: to  taking away some of the panic, fear and worry from citizens who have been summoned to court. CourtHack—which carried the tag line, ‘Making Justice Fair and Accessible For All’—is designed to improve the administration of justice. The organizer of the event was the National Center for State Courts and the producer was HackerNest Toronto.

The Grand Prize winner went to “Team Tiger,” Akbar Farook and Vijay Deep; the report includes a Q&A with the two. (See also: “Jersey CourtHack,” CodeX Blog.)

Monica Bay is a Fellow at CodeX and a freelance journalist. She frequently writes for the Thomson Reuters’ Justice Ecosystem blog. She is a member of the California bar. Email: mbay@codex.stanford.edu. Twitter: @MonicaBay.

Cover image: Clipart.com