The Third Branch
Driving the Dashboard 2013
By Atty. Marcia Vandercook, Office of Court Operations
"Driving the Dashboard 2013" was among popular educational offerings presented during the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference.
The dashboard consolidates the most important computing tools used by judges, providing quick access to case information, electronic documents, legal research materials, and numerous applications. It also gives judges tools to manage their calendars, track cases, and gauge progress toward case processing goals.
Circuit court judges James C. Babler, Barron County; Richard J. Sankovitz, Milwaukee County; and John R. Storck, Dodge County, demonstrated some of the powerful tools in the Consolidated Court Automation Program's (CCAP) judicial dashboard, which is designed to help judges work more efficiently.
During the presentation, judges worked "live" from their personal dashboards, two slide presentations, four video clips, humorous photos, alongside a live band. The presentation addressed some of the trepidation that busy people feel when confronting new technologies.
The band "Presumed Paperless" sang of a happy future when all courts have discovered the ease and efficiency that comes from the widespread use of electronic files. Reserve judges Robert G. Mawdsley and Michael J. Skwierawski performed original lyrics set to the tune of "Let's Do It" by Cole Porter.
Babler outlined steps that counties can take to make a smooth transition to a paper-on-demand courthouse, including scanning, in-court processing, and electronic minutes. The judges then demonstrated 11 easy-to-use items for beginning dashboard users, including, among others: calendar and filters, court record searches, electronic documents, electronic signatures, delegation, unscheduled cases, and remote access.
Brochures that walk through each of the functions are available to judges in the Help section of the judicial dashboard. Judges are also welcome to call the CCAP Call Center for assistance.
More advanced dashboard skills include taking electronic notes, accessing legal research tools, and using statistics. Sankovitz demonstrated how he quickly drafts opinions using electronic briefs and research materials, and Judge Storck explained the steps Dodge County is taking toward a more efficient paperless courthouse.
CCAP staff installed computers in the conference lobby to assist judges with setting up remote access to their desktop and synchronizing their GroupWise mail, contacts and calendars with smartphones. Large screen and dual monitor options were also demonstrated and will be installed in the next several months for judges who requested them at the conference. Since the conference, 5 new counties have expressed interest in offering eFiling, bringing the total to 26 counties.
The program concluded with an acknowledgment that there will always be some uses for paper: http://vimeo.com/62470169.