Report No. 188
US: Court - room 2000 for the New Millennium:
New York: (http://www.courts.state.ny.us/supetmanh/courtroom_2000htm). The Commercial Division of the State of New York operates a pioneering Court-room 2000 for the New Millennium containing the latest courtroom technology. This Courtroom has helped the Commercial Court to be placed in the forefront of technological innovations in the State Court systems of U.S.
(a) provides litigants with state-of-the-art technology, allowing cases to proceed in the most efficient and effective manner.
(b) provides the Bar, Judges and Court-staff with the latest technological options for the litigation process.
(c) serves as a technological laboratory for all Courts in the State.
(d) provides a training ground for attorneys, Judges, court-staff, law students and court reporting students.
Courtroom 2000 features the following:
Real-time Court Reporting Facilities: Allows for instantaneous voice-to-text transcriptions, word indexing in transcripts, exhibit indexing and paperlesstransfers.
Electronic Transcripts: By means of special soft-ware, transcripts can be delivered securely by e-mail with enhanced viewing, mouse-click searching and indexing capabilities.
Presentation of Electronic Evidence: Attorneys are able to present evidence to the Judge and Jury through a wireless communicator or in the form of digitized evidence on CD-ROM by video monitors conveniently placed around the Courtroom. A presenting attorney can 'zoom in' on a portion of an item of electronic evidence or screen. A 'Kill switch' on the Bench will permit the Judge to turn off monitors until a particular item of evidence is admitted or if the Judge determines that certain images should not be made available to the Jury. Digitized video deposition will be displayable along with synchronization to real time transcripts, greatly facilitating examination of prior deposition testimony and trial testimony.
An Interactive 'Whiteboard': This replaces the conventional black-board. Presentation of drawings or writings can be made in large formats or video monitors in the courtroom using a sophisticated touch-sensitive screen. An attorney or witness can highlight aspects of a document of particular interest by writing over or drawing on an image of it and can store the notations on a computer. The screen interacts with virtually any computer based material. Hard copies of the displayed items can be obtained from a colour-laserprinter.
Touch-screen-Monitor: Located at the witness box, this monitor and a connected light pen can be used by a witness to make pieces of evidence for illustrative purposes. An expert-witness, for instance, can mark drawings on a display to explain testimony clearly and dramatically for the Judge or Jury.
Animation: Computer-generated animation may be displayed on monitors for the Judge and Jury. Attorney can present animated explanations for events, functions and the like, to supplement the testimony of expert and fact witnesses. Such representations can have a powerful impact in helping findings of fact to understand complex events, processes and bodily functions.
Customized Integrated Electronic Podium: Replacing the traditional podium, the electronic podium serves the normal function of permitting attorneys to test papers during examination in the course of questioning but also does much more - it holds equipment used to present evidence electronically in the Courtroom; a light pen for annotation by Counsel on items of evidence displayed on monitors to the Judge and Jury; a flat monitor on which the attorney can see the item of evidence being displayed to the Judge or the Jury; a video cassette recorder, a wireless communicator that projects items of proof on monitors; and a visual image printer to capture any frame from a video or still source for preservation purposes.
Personal Computer Docking Stations: Located at counsel's table, the witness box, the bench and the podium, these connections permit the presentation or analysis of evidence by witness or counsel. Attorneys will be able to receive real-time transcriptions and to communicate electronically with locations outside the court house, such as their law-offices, while the proceedings are taking place or during recesses.
Video-cassette Recorder: Connected to the evidence presentation system, the recorder facilitates presentation and playback of taped evidence.
Component-Computer: This computer is specifically designed to handle the processing of all information and to run software needed in the courtroom.
Other Equipment: The Courtroom is equipped with a portable acoustical system and an LED display system.
The Courtroom accommodates Commercial Division cases and cases outside the Division would also benefit from access to this equipment.
Manhattan Supreme Court, New York City - Courtroom 2000:
In room No. 228 of the N.Y. County Court house a groundbreaking innovation has taken place. Underneath the floor, wires connect computers located around the room, to monitor screen of antique wood paneling. Flat screen monitors are stationed at key locations, including the Judge-Bench, jury box, attorney's tables and clerks' desks, for use in displaying photographs, documents and other presentations. The Court is also equipped with PC docking stations, VCR, real-time transcription capabilities - and a SMART BOARD which is an interactive whiteboard.
Unveiled in 1997 as a test project in Manhattan's Supreme Court, (Commercial Division), Court 2000 is a state-of-the-art facility that harnesses the power to modern-day technology to increase efficiency of the judicial process. Typically, several commercial trials and many mock-trials run by students and law associations are conducted each year. The first of its kind in the State, it is Courtroom of the future, housed in a Courtroom of the past.
The SMART BOARD interactive white board is used as an electronic blackboard. It enables users to electronically display information to multiple viewers, accent important points with colour, saves files and print multiple copies. A witness can come upto the board, pick up a pen from the SMART Pen Tray and write directly on the SMART BOARD'S interactive whiteboard's surface. These notes are then saved for future use.
A Courtroom is a fast-face, high-tension setting. Because facts and figures appear and disappear quickly, the evidence needs to remain available for review after it is presented. Before the introduction of the SMART Board interactive blackboard, "preservation of information was a problem, as sometimes mistakenly erased from the blackboard". Now, with the SMART Broad interactive whiteboard, "reproduction of the information presented during sessions is much easier", because anything written on the touch-sensitive whiteboard is saved and then printed out for the Judge, juries and others for reference at anytime. The single great advantage of the SMART Board interactive whiteboard is the ability to display and preserve information. Once again, the evidence presents a strong case for using the SMART Board interactive whiteboard in the courtroom.
Mississippi: Hinds County Courtroom 2000, Jackson, Mississippi.
The electronic courtroom is a trial presentation system installed with cutting-edge, easy-to-sue technology for civil and criminal trials.
The heart of the system is a high-speed network that links television monitors and peripheral devices.
The nerve centre is the 'Power Podium' which replaces the traditional lectern with a high-tech electronic presentation platform that is networked to large monitors located in front of the jury and smaller monitors for each counsel's table, the witness and the court reporter.
The system is controlled from the Judge's Bench by a touch screen monitor.
The Court equipment is as follows:
400 MHZPentiumTM Computer
Professionally Integrated Routing Equipmen
Hi FidelityAuto-mixer and Speakers
Judges Kill Switch
Judges Touch Screen Control Panel
Wireless Lapel Microphone
S. Video VHS Video Player
Overhead Video Projector
Annotation Light Pen
Video Conference - Hook-up
PC or Mac
SonyTM Digital Color Printer
ElmoTM Document Camera
MarantzTM Audio Cassette
LCD Data Projector
View-SonicTM Flat Panel Monitors
72" x 96" Parabolic Screen
In the Hinds County Atticus Courtroom 2000,
the "Atticus" is a portable multimedia and presentation unit featuring the latest in courtroom technology. It is designed to make trials easier and quicker for Judges, attorneys and most importantly, the jury. "It is pretty well-known fact that juries retain more information when they are shown something. This makes it far easier on everyone when it comes to decision time", says Gary Lee, Courtroom Technology Manager at RSI (Kansas City, MO), the makers of Atticus.
Judge James E. Graves, Jr. spearheaded the campaign to bring Atticus to the Hinds County Courthouse. He had the support of the Hinds County Law Library Committee, the Hinds County Bar Association and the Hinds County Board of Supervisors. "I felt strongly about this project and I'm proud of the fact that we did not have to use tax payer's money", he said. Judge Graves and Judge Green are the only Judges in Hinds County who utilize Atticus Courtroom 2000.
RSI company has built the Hinds County Atticus to meet the vision of Judge Green's courtroom 2000. It features a 72" x 96" parabolic screen for outstanding viewing capabilities. In addition, attorneys are able to display documents and annotate them with a Light pen, utilize a digital colour printer that prints video stills in the fly and play 3-D animation, video and audio chips using state-of-the-art equipment.
RSI maintains an electronic courtroom in Jackson County Missouri. In addition, Atticus has been installed in several courtrooms throughout the County including US Attorneys in Charlotte, North Caroline and Salt Lake City, Utah, and two bankruptcy courts in Nevada. RSI is an applied information management company providing an integrated approach to high quality efficient products and services for legal and corporate clients nationwide. So far as the high-tech systems in the Commercial Courts in India are concerned, we shall refer to them in the next Chapter, i.e. Chapter VIII.