Skove, A., Berryessa, C.M., Schaible, L., & Aissam, I. (2021). Justice in the new digital era: The pitfalls and benefits of rapid technology adoption by courts.In C. Campbell, J. Holtzclaw, and D. Alicea-Lozada. (Eds.), Trends in State Courts 2021. Williamsburg, VA: NCSC.
Courts occupy a unique position in the justice system that is steeped in tradition and formality. Likewise, any changes from established procedure are likely to invite challenges to decisions and outcomes based on their legal and constitutional implications. As such, it should be no surprise that courts have been slow to embrace technological advances. The reasons for their hesitancy have included valid worries about keeping procedural safeguards intact and privacy/security concerns, as well as (perhaps less valid) concerns about tradition and the skills required to be a good judge or advocate.1 Although there is hesitancy, technology can be useful in many ways. Here, we examine three innovations—video conferencing, text messaging, and cloud storage.