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CourtTracker = CCAP on Steroids

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Barry and Jo from Court Data Technologies. They introduced me to their new CourtTracker service and I must say that I was impressed.

Basically, CourtTracker takes CCAP case data (Wisconsin circuit courts) and allows you to search it in powerful ways not available via CCAP. It's like CCAP on steroids.

You can search cases by specific statute(s), prosecutor(s), and/or judge(s). If I were a criminal defense attorney, I think that it would be very helpful to quickly see see the history of how certain judges and prosecutors have treated similar cases in plea arrangements and sentencing.

A screen shot of a sample search appears below. Note that I had to cut out some of the sentencing information to make the screen shot legible here.

It seems that there are also two additional enhancements to CourtTracker which are still in development. The first is an individualized calendar of your court dates. The second is a disposition report feature which gives you a quick statistical analysis of end results of cases with similar facts.

Overall, I think that this is a very powerful tool. I did have a couple of suggestions that I mentioned to Barry and Jo, however. The search screen doesn't seem terribly intuitive to me. It requires that the user know to change tabs at the top to view search results. Apparently, it was designed this way to promote versatility results navigation. I don't know - I still like the comfort of a search button.

Barry and Jo also shared with me that there are a couple of quirks with the CCAP data that could affect results. Although this was noted on a separate help screen, I suggested that it might be helpful to display it somewhere on the search results page. But these are very small hiccups in what is an otherwise great product.

CourtTracker is available by annual subscription to firms. Prices vary by number of attorney per firm. Court Data Tech staff also do customized research for those who do not subscribe to CourtTracker.