Digital Courtroom Now a Reality In Harris County
by: Jack Williams, July 20, 2005 12:07:00 am
Judge Christopher is the first in Harris County to use a "paper on demand" system, where court documents are scanned into a computer and can be called up electronically from the bench.
Christopher is testing the system as part of a silicosis case she's hearing that involves thousands of documents. Instead of working with a pile of papers, she simply scrolls to particular case she's hearing and chooses documents she's like to review on her computer.
Lawyers in Harris County already have the ability to file documents electronically. Harris County District Clerk Charles Bacarisse says the new digital courtroom takes that technology a step further.
Judges will move into a new civil courts building early next year, a facility that has less storage room for paper documents and courtrooms wired to be digital.
Bacarisse says judges won't have to work with digital documents if they aren't comfortable with the technology and that some paper documents will still be needed in most cases.