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This report on accessibility developed from a yearlong study of various entities of the federal judiciary, including the judiciary’s electronic case filing and processing systems, homepages of federal judiciary websites, and published Judicial Conference and Administrative Office policies on disability and access.

This study was undertaken as part of the author’s Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with the Federal Judicial Center through the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Technology and the Bench is an FJC initiative produced in partnership with the Center for Law and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Other partners for this project include the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Princeton University, Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, and other scholars and judicial professionals.

The purpose of the series is to provide federal judges with critical information about the many points where technology intersects and interacts with laws and constitutional concerns. Viewers are not expected start practicing new technical skills as a result of this series, although some might. Rather, this series is meant to be a long-term resource and an inside look at the uses, history, and potential legal concerns pertaining to current and future technologies.

Encryption

This program is designed to provide a deep look into the history of encryption along with the modern uses. The video explores some of the constitutional concerns about encryption and provides information that can be useful for judges and court professionals faced with needing more information about this powerful technology and its legal impact.

Cloud Computing

This program provides foundational information about cloud computing technology while also asking judges to think about some important legal concerns regarding the cloud. Topics covered in this video series include definition, history, size/magnitude, uses, categories/types, service models, providers, benefits, and drawbacks.

This program is hosted by the Honorable Anthony Porcelli (M.D. Fla.) and Dr. Justine Sherry (Carnegie Mellon University).

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In this module, Amanda C. Pustilnik, professor of law at the University of Maryland, discusses approaches that judges could employ when evaluating emerging neurotechnology. She provides insight into the following questions:

  • What sort of framework can judges use in their approach to evaluating emerging neurotechnology?
  • Should there be specific standards for using neuroscience evidence?
  • What emerging technology do you foresee or predict lawyers will attempt to introduce as evidence in the near future?

Objectives:

  • to identify potential standards for neuroscience evidence
  • to examine emerging neurotechnology from which the court could benefit

To learn more about Amanda Pustilnik, click here.

Available for Distribution

This video is part of the Technology and the Bench series created by the FJC and the Center for Law and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in partnership with Princeton University. This program provides foundational information about cloud computing technology while also asking judges to think about some important legal concerns regarding the cloud. Topics covered in this video series include: definition, history, size/magnitude, uses, categories/types, service models, providers, benefits, and drawbacks.

This program is hosted by Honorable Anthony Porcelli (M.D. Fla.) and Dr. Justine Sherry (Carnegie Mellon University).

For more information, contact Rhonda Starks at 202-502-4059 or rstarks@fjc.gov.

Available for Distribution

This video is part of the Technology and the Bench series created by the FJC and the Center for Law and Technology at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in partnership with Princeton University. This program is designed to provide a deep look into the history of encryption along with the modern uses. The video explores some of the constitutional concerns about encryption and provides information that can be useful for judges and court professionals faced with needing more information about this powerful technology and its legal impact.

In Print: Available for Distribution

Science tutorials have developed as a tool to assist judges in managing cases that involve complex science and technology. Such tutorials provide an early opportunity for the court to learn and ask questions about relevant science and technology outside the context of motion practice. Courts should consider holding science tutorials in cases that involve recent scientific findings or newer technologies, where scientific assertions are central to claims or defenses, or when scientific or technological information is likely to play a large role in later dispositive motions. This guide provides an overview of practical considerations to help judges plan and conduct science tutorials effectively.

Federal Rules of Evidence 902(13) and 902(14), which became effective on December 1, 2017, provide for the self-authentication of electronic evidence. Under these rules, electronic evidence can be authenticated by certification instead of by testimony. Rule 902(13) applies to electronic evidence such as computer files, social media posts, and smart device data. Rule 902(14) applies to electronic copies.

In Print: Available for Distribution

This guide on the use of distance participation (DP) technology to conduct bankruptcy hear­ings and trials provides an overview of general considerations, ranging from philo­sophical to practical, and then examines separately the use of the teleconferencing and videoconferencing. Each district, and indeed each judge, must decide whether to use DP technology, and if so, how to use it. The goals of this guide are to aid in making those decisions, and to encourage the use of DP technology so as to promote access to the courts, make the best use of existing judicial re­sources, and contain costs while maintaining the quality of court pro­ceedings and compliance with the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Proce­dure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and other legal authority. Its suggestions are based on the varied experiences of bankruptcy judges and clerks of court around the country.

This guide was prepared at the request of the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on the Admin­istration of the Bankruptcy System. The guide builds on a 2005 FJC Roundtable and Report and reflects technological ad­vances and the courts’ increased ex­perience with DP technology.

PDFs of the guide and appendices are below. Appendix B: Sample Case-Management Orders is a separate webpage.

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This pocket guide summarizes the essential concepts behind a variety of labor-saving techniques, known generally as technology-assisted review (TAR), that help identify documents for production. The guide outlines possible factors for ascertaining whether and how the use of TAR may qualify as a reasonable inquiry under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(g). It also provides an illustrative order for governing the use of TAR in civil litigation.

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This guide provides an overview of special conditions of supervised release and probation restricting computer and Internet use in an effort to protect the public from cybercrime, including child pornography offenses. The guide summarizes the relevant statutory provisions and Sentencing Guidelines policy statements that courts consider when evaluating computer and Internet special conditions; reviews Judicial Conference policy concerning the recommendation and execution of special conditions by federal probation officers; summarizes the types of bans and restrictions on computer and Internet access during postconviction supervision that have been upheld or rejected by courts, and discusses the most important factors that courts consider in assessing the restrictions; and describes the factors courts consider when evaluating conditions requiring computer filtering or monitoring and discusses other procedural issues related to the imposition and execution of such restrictions.

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