Happy Anniversary – Yolo County Marks One Year Live with aiSMARTBENCH
Yolo County Superior Court in Northern California handles a heavy caseload of criminal, civil and business matters across 12 court settings. Judges are becoming accustomed to changes in technology. In just a few short years, the evolution of the courtroom and judge chambers has cycled through manual typewriters, electric typewriters, word processors, and personal computers with word processing programs. Copiers that went from having wet paper on a roll to dry single sheets are now mostly obsolete – replaced by ink and laser jet printers. And courtroom dictation/reporting equipment went from belt-driven machines to hand-held electronic recorders to hands-free digital devices. As technology changes, judges and court administrators must decide when it makes sense for them to adapt to the changing times.
It’s not always by choice. With the advent of efiling and other technological advances in the courts, stakeholders are being pushed—not merely coaxed—into the electronic age. Integrating cost-effective technologies with the maximum lifespan is vital to a successful courtroom. Today’s court administrators need to understand case management systems, document management systems, electronic filing, and a wealth of everchanging technologies to move the courts forward.
Overseeing Yolo County’s judicial system is the Honorable Samuel T. McAdam, Presiding Judge and Shawn C. Landry, Court Executive Officer of the Yolo County Superior Court. McAdam, who was appointed Presiding Judge January 1, 2019, is responsible for the administration of the court in addition to his regular judicial duties in the courtroom. With the assistance of the Court Executive Officer, McAdam leads the court, establishes policies, allocates resources to promote public access to justice, promotes efficiency in court operations and service to the public. As Court Executive Officer, Shawn Landy is responsible for providing strategic direction to the Court and has overall management authority and responsibility for the non‐judicial components of Yolo’s court system. He is also responsible for allocating resources in a manner that maximizes efficiency in court operations.
In July 2018, to maximize efficiency, Yolo County deployed Mentis Technology’s aiSMARTBENCH application to all Superior Court judges and commissioners as well as their respective support staff. The application is accessible from the Bench, Chambers or any other location authorized by Court Administration.
“aiSMARTBENCH allows judges to easily access documents and case-related information that’s tailored for their job. It’s an interface that was created by judges, for judges. As such, it has a lot of options desirable for judicial officers, such as tabbing, annotating, docket editing/tracking, and making notes within the electronic file (either viewable to others or for their eyes only.) It also allows judges to produce orders right from the bench. We went live this past July . All judges have computers at the bench and operate entirely from the new system. All calendars are now prepped, documented, flagged and annotated digitally here at Yolo Court. Paper files have been nearly eliminated in our courtrooms. Files are no longer delivered to departments.”Shawn C. Landry, Court Executive Officer of the Yolo County Superior Court
Great advances in the use of technology to improve and enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and timeliness of those processes that are critical for the judiciary are needed to meet the multitude of challenges faced by the court systems. Most courts, including Yolo County Superior Court, are committed to improving the administration of justice, enhancing public access and service, and building public trust and confidence.
aiSMARTBENCH by Mentis Technology is a sophisticated, albeit simple, solution. It provides more than just a view of case information for a judge to make the most informed decisions possible. It’s also an e-network that facilitates collaboration across agencies working from the same set of information, providing the whole picture in real time to those who need it most.
Contact Lisa Goldsworthy at email@example.com or 336-912-1178.