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Technology in the WI Courts Topic of Wisconsin Law & Technology Conference

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending/presenting at the Wisconsin Law and Technology Conference put on the Milwaukee Bar Association. It was the first time I had attended the annual conference and I must say I was impressed. With four simultaneous tracks, there was something for the tech novice to the tech expert.

At the lunch presentation we heard about the state of technology in the Wisconsin court system. John Voelker, Director of the State Courts Office spoke about the court's case management system (WCCA - a.k.a. CCAP) system, court reporting, and e-filing.

About the WCCA system, I was surprised to learn the Web site receives 2-3 million hits per day! The site, it seems, is used by everyone from legal professionals to singles doing a quick "background check" on their date as evidenced by the noticeable spike in use at bar time.

As we reported in August, some privacy advocates have raised concerns that the site makes available too much information which can be misinterpreted by the casual reader. Voelker reported that the committee appointed to study this issue is expected to issue its recommendations in early 2006.

Regarding court reporting, the court is developing pilot programs to address the shortage of court reporters. In two counties, digital recording systems are being tested.

We also received an update on the status of e-filing which is slowing being rolled out in Washington County. On this project, we also heard from Kristine Deiss, Washington County Clerk. Although the system has only been made available to one firm so far, is has so far been a success.

Voelker and Deiss emphasized that the e-filing system developed in Wisconsin is unique. Unlike other state's systems, our state system will integrate e-filings directly with the case management system (WCCA). Both believed that this would result in an increase in cost savings and accessibility.