Flat-screen monitors and multiple cameras are all part of the new E-Courtrooms at Superior Court in Maricopa County.
Video cameras are activated by sound. Microphones can detect the slightest whisper. Flat screen monitors simplify evidence presentation. Two-way video conferences allow court appearances from other locations around the country. And, touch-screen technology allows witnesses and attorneys to highlight exhibits on any screen image.
This is the future for judges, lawyers and litigants in Maricopa County. And it's available in several Superior Court electronic courtrooms, also known as E-Courtrooms.
"These E-Courtrooms represent a profound and fundamental change in the way court proceedings are conducted," said Superior Court Presiding Judge Colin F. Campbell. "Widespread use of technology during trial enhances the way evidence is presented, allowing facts, concepts and ideas to be more readily understood by jurors, litigants, spectators, lawyers and the Court."
Jurors can view exhibits via flat screen monitors or a projection screen in the E-Courtrooms.
Studies have found that high-tech court proceedings can cut trial time for a civil case by 25 percent. Prior to the use of high tech courtrooms, litigants were limited to presenting evidence by displaying sketches, photographs and case documents on easels or by passing them to jurors to view individually. The new technology allows lawyers to use laptops and a touch screen computer to simultaneously display and annotate evidence on the monitors in the jury box and around the courtroom. It is an easier, more effective way to litigate a case.
Proceedings in E-Courtrooms are recorded. The audio/video recording technology creates a verbatim record without the use of a court reporter. Copies of the proceedings are available on videotape or a CD.
E-Courtroom technology opens the justice system and trial proceedings instantaneously and globally outside the courthouse. In the future, some trials may be broadcast over the Internet.
litigants and the legal community are invited to learn more about Superior
Court's E-Courtrooms. For more information about E-Courtroom technology,
tours, demonstrations and training sessions,
contact Ken Crenshaw at (602) 506-3269.