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e-Court is Now in Session

by Colin Rule
July 2011

Novo Justice Blog by Colin Rule

Colin Rule
William Glabberson in the NYT:

“The court is the setting for the first full “e-court” in the state and is part of efforts by more than a dozen court systems nationally to move toward a paperless future that has come slowly to state courts, where old habits die hard. (Federal courts, and much of the rest of the world, have been online for more than a decade.)

For the past year, New York State has for the first time been requiring lawyers in about 6,000 cases dealing with commercial disputes in the Manhattan courthouse to “e-file” their cases over the Internet. Clerks and judges then process the documents from the first gripe, through the spiteful arguments and on to the final rulings, all the while providing full public access — and all, at least theoretically, paperlessly.

Some courts in Westchester and Rockland Counties have followed Manhattan’s pilot project to require mandatory electronic filing over the last year. And last month the Legislature authorized a wide expansion of electronic courts to a broad array of civil cases and to courts in every borough and several upstate counties. New York is not yet handling criminal cases electronically.

All of which has made this old-style court something of a pioneer. “We have momentum to really eliminate the paper,” said Jeffrey Carucci, the first deputy chief clerk of the Manhattan court.”

Here it comes. We need to fully wire the judiciary in the next 10 years. It’s not just about digitizing paper, though. We need to reboot the whole judicial system.

Biography


Colin Rule has worked at the intersection of technology and conflict resolution for the last two decades. He is CEO of Modria.com, an online dispute resolution service provider in Silicon Valley, and a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. From 2003 to 2011, he served as eBay and PayPal's first director of Online Dispute Resolution, designing and implementing systems that now resolve more than 60 million disputes each year. Mr. Rule is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002. He has presented and trained around the world for organizations including the U.S. Department of State, UNCITRAL, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, as well as teaching at UMass-Amherst, Stanford, Southern Methodist University, and Hastings College of the Law. He has written and been interviewed extensively about the Internet since 1999, with columns and articles appearing in ACResolution, Consensus, Dispute Resolution Magazine, and Peace Review. He holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a B.A. in peace studies from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.



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Website: www.modria.com

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