U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Computers Are Talking in America's Courts

NCJ Number
Judges' Journal Volume: 28 Issue: 2 Dated: (Spring 1989) Pages: 4-7,54-55
D Weinberg
Date Published
6 pages
The use of computers for a variety of court communications is moving out of the experimental phase and is showing promise for improving the administration of justice by improving communications among judges, lawyers, and court administrators.
In one part of Pennsylvania, an attorney can check courthouse records from a computer in the law office. A county court clerk in Atlanta can receive electronically a motion for a continuance. In Houston, a State appellate court judge can use a computer to scan an unpublished opinion rendered by a Dallas colleague the previous day. In Washington, D.C. a computer conference can be linked for a computer conference. Such conferences can eliminate many scheduling and travel conflicts, because participants can join the conference at their convenience. They may not eliminate the need for direct conferences, but they can speed the exchange of information and ensure that actual meeting time is used most efficiently. Computerized legal research services such as Westlaw and Lexis are also now common in courthouses and law offices. Finally, judges and lawyers are increasingly using computer communications to take part in bar association activities designed to improve the law and the effective administration of justice.