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Supreme Court Embraces The Digital Age

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In times of great change, there are always certain groups in society that prefer to take a cautious approach to the newest trends and techniques. The US Supreme Court has long been an institution that values tradition in all it’s forms, even as judgments are passed down on some of the most controversial and modern subject imaginable.

One of the areas where the court has purposefully chose to exercise caution is entering the world of internet connectivity. Due to concerns about malicious hacking and other threats, until this point the vast majority of court functions have been conducted via paper based systems; lending greater security but holding back governmental transparency efforts. However, recent statements seem to indicate a general shift in attitude as it appears the justices are finally ready to move to a more efficient digital solution. Instead of moving to a pre-existing product on the market, it appears that the court will be working with vendors to create a proprietary electronic case management system, to be deployed by the end of 2016.

“The federal courts, including the Supreme Court, must often introduce new technologies at a more measured pace than other institutions, especially those in private industry,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the year-end report. “They will sometimes seem more guarded in adopting cutting-edge innovations, and for good reason, considering some of the concerns that the judiciary must consider in deploying new technologies.”

Roberts goes on to write, “The judiciary has a special duty to ensure, as a fundamental matter of equal access to justice, that its case filing process is readily accessible to the entire population, from the most tech-savvy to the most tech-intimidated.”

This is a big step for a group that has resisted technological change in the past (famously delaying the installation of pneumatic document transfer tubes for 40 years) placing them square in the corner of modern “paperless” solutions. Doubtless that these new methods won’t embrace the latest techniques out there, but any progress will be an improvement for the American public that desires insight into how their government processes work.

If your organization is in the middle of exploring electronic file management and scanning solutions, The Data Vault can help. With 30+ years of experience helping companies of all sizes moving towards paperless solutions, we have the knowledge and expertise to help smooth the transition. Contact us today and one of our experts will be in touch!

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