New Forum for Discussing Technology Issues a Success

Regional Justice Technology Expo welcomes over 300 justice professionals to Georgia

Submitted by: Ms. Yolanda Lewis, Fifth District Court Administrator

 On April 19, 2012, the Regional Justice Technology Expo (RJTE) opened with 340 attendees from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Texas at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, GA.  

altThe assembled judges, administrators, attorneys, law enforcement officers, court reporters, clerks, and a host of other justice professionals were treated to two days of how technology is affecting courts today.  Judge Alford J. Dempsey Jr. (at left), Superior Court, Atlanta Judicial Circuit, opened the Expo with the theme of “Leadership, Innovation and Automation” in mind as he spoke to fellow justice professionals encouraging them to embrace new trends in technology.  Ms. Marla S. Moore, Director, Administrative Office of the Courts, welcomed the group and reflected on how far Georgia has come in court automation. 

Kicking off the conference, keynote speaker Dr. Bob Roper set the tone as he delivered Paper On-Demand: The Road to a Digital Court.  Dr. Roper introduced paper on-demand — storing documents electronically and only printing them when necessary — to the Colorado Judicial Department during his time as Chief Information Officer.

 

Leadership, Innovation, and Automation

The Expo’s theme was highlighted at every turn through its keynote speakers, showcase presentations, breakout sessions, vendor exhibits, and networking opportunities. Showcase presentations included Working Smarter: Managing Court Records in a Paperless Environment, Electronic Filing – Navigating the Process, and the Challenges of Technology in the Courtroom

The Expo’s breakout sessions were popular forums for learning the latest information on a variety of technology-related topics:

•  In Courtroom Technology from the Judge’s Perspective, Judge Constance Russell, Superior Court, Atlanta Judicial Circuit; Judge Alan Harvey, Magistrate, DeKalb County; and Chief Judge Leslie Jones, Municipal Court of Athens, shared innovative ideas that provide new opportunities to use technology in the legal system.

• On the Emerging Trends in Court Technology panel (above l-r) Judge Stephen D. Kelley, Superior Courts, Brunswick Judicial Circuit; Judge David T. Emerson, Superior Court, Douglas Judicial Circuit; and Justice Harold Melton, Supreme Court of Georgia, discussed topics including a proposed e-filing system for the state’s superior courts and using technology for off-site services such as interpreting and testimony during trials.

Other breakout sessions included: New Social Media Revolution: What Courts Should Know and DoEmerging Trends in Court Technology from a Clerk’s Perspective: Yesterday, Today, and TommorrowMoving Information Intelligently: Addressing Challenges to Efficient and Effective Information Sharing in Justice and Public Safety; New Technological Trends in Juvenile Court;  Technological Advances in Alternative Sentencing: Accountability Courts, Electronic Monitoring and Electronic Supervision; Using Technology to Address Mental Health Issues in the Courts; and Cloud for Courts: out of the Box and Into the Cloud.

Networking

The RJTE provided justice officials an opportunity to look at vendors from across the country and Canada.  “Since this was the first Expo in Georgia and in the Southeast, we wanted to ensure that attendees had an opportunity to see the latest advances in technology but also network with their colleagues regarding technology efforts being utilized across the state,” said Ms. Yolanda L. Lewis, Fifth District Court Administrator.   RJTE attendees had the opportunity to attend industry-specific sessions where several exhibitors had the opportunity to serve on several break-out session panels to discuss future trends in technology.

“We are especially thankful for the tremendous support we received from our fellow justice professionals throughout the State of Georgia,” said Judge Alford J. Dempsey, Jr, Chair, Superior Court Technology Committee.  Feedback from participants has been positive and plans are being made to ensure the Regional Justice Technology Expo will be a recurring event.

The Regional Justice Technology Expo was sponsored by the Fulton County Superior Court, Fulton County Superior Court Clerk’s Office, and the Administrative Office of the Courts. For more information on the future of RJTE, contact Ms. Yolanda Lewis at 404-612-4518.

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