This article is based on “Technology and the Courts: A Futurist View,” originally authored by Judge Dixon and published in The Judges’ Journal, vol. 52, no. 3, Summer 2013. It has been revised and updated for Experience by Judge Dixon and Jeffrey Allen and is published with permission.
Technology affects our personal and professional lives in increasingly profound ways. Our courts have also participated in this revolution, maintaining court records electronically, enabling (requiring) electronic filing of pleadings and orders, and building tech-friendly and highly specialized courtrooms complete with presentation technology to facilitate the presentation of cases using the tools technology provides. Not all of these changes resulted from proactive decisions to modernize or because of a sudden surplus of funding for courtroom construction. Many have occurred as a result of a recognition that the old way imposes no-longer-acceptable limits on the way we do business. Others have occurred as a matter of simple convenience. Still others have resulted from efforts to expedite trials in order to allow our judicial systems to function more efficiently and the courts to service more cases with fewer courtrooms.