Inflection Point: Can Courts Use Technology to Spur Transformational Change or Will They Return to the Traditional Way of Doing Business?

13 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2022

See all articles by Zach Zarnow

Zach Zarnow

National Center for State Courts

Danielle Elyce Hirsch

National Center for State Courts

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

Richard Susskind has famously argued that “court is a service, not a place.” We agree, and due to the most unimaginably horrible circumstance of the ongoing pandemic, courts have indeed largely stopped being physical places where people go. Courthouses closed, trials were delayed, and some courts even paused the filing of cases. Courts began to adapt, modifying rules and procedures and offering remote services to keep the state courts operational. These adaptations include online filing of pleadings for both lawyers and self-represented litigants, online clerk and self-help functions, remote hearings, remote payment of court fees and fines, remote bench trials, and in some instances remote jury trials. Courts have scrambled to answer the questions of how to provide services remotely that meet the needs of court users, keep everyone safe, and do not leave anyone out. Can technological solutions maintain and increase access to justice while the physical courthouse remains closed?

Suggested Citation

Zarnow, Zach and Hirsch, Danielle Elyce, Inflection Point: Can Courts Use Technology to Spur Transformational Change or Will They Return to the Traditional Way of Doing Business? (2021). Georgetown Law Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4133809

Zach Zarnow (Contact Author)

National Center for State Courts ( email )

300 Newport Ave.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

Danielle Elyce Hirsch

National Center for State Courts ( email )

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