Resources on Courtroom Technology
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Courtroom Technology Survey
In May 2002, the Center sent an e-mail message to all district court clerks requesting that they or their designee complete an on-line questionnaire about the extent to which courtroom technology is used in their district court and for what purpose it is used. The questionnaire also included questions about how the technology is managed at the local level and the resources required to do so.
(PDF, 14 pp.)
The survey is part of Center's on-going project to develop information to help judges handle electronic evidence as they preside over cases and to help evaluate any need for procedural or evidentiary rule changes. The idea for the survey originated at the Center's July 2001 Research Conference on Courtroom Technology, during which the need for basic information about the use of courtroom technology in the federal courts became evident. The clerks' responses provide important background information for the Center's research on courtroom technology.
In addition, we collaborated with the Administrative Office of the United States Courts on the content of the survey, and several offices included questions that would be useful to them in managing the Courtroom Technology Program. We also included some questions of interest to the Courtroom 21 project of the William and Mary Law School and the National Center for State Courts. Courtroom 21, supported by a grant from the State Justice Institute, was evaluating the effect of jury room technologies and deliberations in traditional non-technological trials and high technology trials in both state and federal courts.
Ninety districts responded to the survey. 31 districts responded to the survey by the initial due date and 41 responded after e-mail reminders in July and September 2002. At the request of AO's Space and Facilities Division, we attempted to obtain responses from the remaining districts by sending out another reminder email, and heard from the last responding district in July 2003. Four districts did not respond.
Summary of the survey's findings
(PDF, 7 pp.). The numbers and percentages reported in the summary should be used with caution, in part because the technology that is now available in some districts may differ from what was reported in the questionnaire. Also, the districts completed the questionnaires at different times, some districts did not answer every question, and four did not respond at all. Although we use the present tense in the summary--e.g., “courts have access”--the statement is accurate as of the dates of the survey submission. Unless otherwise noted, “districts” mean “responding districts.”