Reading Guide - Litigation Support and Court Technologies

Graham Greenleaf

Last updated 27 October 2000

= Required reading. All other links indicate optional reading.

1. Introduction

1.1. Objectives

The objective of this topic is for you to understand the principal technologies used in litigation, both from the perspective of the parties to litigation, and from that of the Court and its workflow.

1.2. Overviews and brief history of Australian developments

1.3. General resources

The following resources provide information about many aspects of court technologies and litigation support:



2. The main technologies for litigation support

The key technologies for litigation support and computerised courtrooms can be grouped as follows: The other factor that must always be kept in mind is the need to effectively integrate these different technologies, so as to allow interconnections between different categories of information used in litigation.

2.1 Examples of 'computerised courtrooms'

'Computerised courtrooms' are just implementations of the various technologies relevant to litigation, either on a permanent basis for all matters heard in a particular courtroom, or in a courtroom converted on a 'one off' basis for a trial which will make heavy use of technology.

 Courts administrations in Australia and elsewhere have been slow to implement permanent computerised courtrooms, but this has now started to occur with at least one courtroom in most Australian jurisdictions. Far more common to date has been the courtroom fitted for the particular needs of a very large trial / inquest / royal commission, and then decommissioned once it is concluded (eg the Wood Royal Commission into the NSW Police Force).

 The following papers discuss particular computerised courtrooms:

3. Computerised transcript

Greenleaf and Mowbray Chapter 4. Transcript - supplying 'clean water' in (1993) Information Technology in Complex Criminal Trials [1993] COL 1 - This Chapter describes the various steps (and alternatives) in the use of transcript in litigation, from data capture to retrieval software, and issues such as defence access in trials, and concludes:
The most important factor determining the extent to which computerised retrieval of transcript will improve the conduct of complex trials is the timely provision of transcript in a standardised form which can be used by as many retrieval programs as possible. Second in importance in the informed choice of retrieval software by prosecution, defence and the court, and the availability of sufficient resources and training for each to make effective use of this technology. Third in importance is the provision of courtroom facilities for retrieval and display of transcript, whether or not real-time CAT is used. A further factor of general importance is access by the defence to litigation support facilities.
Have these factors changed since 1993?

3.1. Examples of transcript provision

4. Document imaging and exhibit management

Greenleaf and Mowbray Chapter 5. Exhibits and other documents - managing paper mountains in (1993) Information Technology in Complex Criminal Trials [1993] COL 1 - This Chapter describes the different

4.1. Examples

4.2. Additional reading

5. Presentation graphics

Greenleaf and Mowbray 7. Presentation graphics and summaries - simplifying complex evidence n (1993) Information Technology in Complex Criminal Trials [1993] COL 1

5.1. Examples

6. Court filing systems / electronic appeal books

6.1 Australian developments

6.2 Overseas developments