“I want to go on record that I was able to get through 109 criminal cases today and I never touched a paper file.”
Seven Judges, Three Weeks – Santa Rosa County, Florida Goes “Live” with aiSMARTBENCH™
Mentis Technology Solutions, a privately held software firm providing intelligent automation of document-driven processes for business and government, announced that all seven judges of Santa Rosa County, Florida went live on aiSMARTBENCH™ within a span of three short weeks in April, 2012.
aiSMARTBENCH, inspired by judges and developed for judges, transforms the traditional courtroom workflow with efficiencies that exceed the current paper processes and serves the judges as a highly effective decision support system. aiSMARTBENCH has received rave reviews from all of the Santa Rosa court stakeholders.
As a testament to aiSMARTBENCH’s ease of use, Mentis spent only two hours with each judge and their respective judicial assistant and in many instances, the judge was up and running with aiSMARTBENCH the very next day live in the courtroom.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Adair Cotton, the Chief Deputy of Courts and Information Technology. “I sat in one court session where one of our pilot judges, after only two hours of training, refused to look at any of the case files the court clerks were piling on his bench. At the end of his session, he announced, ‘I want to go on record that I was able to get through 109 criminal cases today and I never touched a paper file.’ It’s been a total surprise to see how enthusiastically they are embracing an electronic solution and actually pushing back on any “old thinking” processes that still require paper. This is true of all seven judges.”
From a clerk’s perspective, one of the biggest barriers to the paperless courtroom has been providing the judges with an electronic solution they would actually use during the high-paced activities of a courtroom hearing. Until aiSMARTBENCH, the clerk would make great inroads in e-filing and imaging all court documents only to have the judges continue to request paper files for their cases during court.
The Santa Rosa County Clerk of Courts, Mary Johnson, is being hailed as the first clerk in the state “to allow criminal court paperwork to be filed and handled electronically all the way from the attorney’s desk to the judge’s bench.” And while e-filing is a big component of this endeavor, the return on investment could not be realized if the judges were still requiring paper files to be delivered in their courtroom.
Mary Johnson was quoted in a recent article for the Pensacola News Journal (See Santa Rosa County: A greener Clerk of Courts), “It’s monumental,” Johnson said. “We won’t have files everywhere — a building over there full of files, a building down yonder full of files, a whole big room at the courthouse full of files. And there will be less hands-on work. We won’t have to touch it so many times.”
Adair Cotton witnessed the transformation first hand. “I had no idea the judges would embrace this solution so fast. And because we were able to demonstrate the use and value of electronic documents for all the court stakeholders, the Florida Courts Technology Commission on May 23rd of this year approved our request to implement the use of electronic form generation, the use of electronic signatures on all court documents as well as the use of the printed copy of an emailed document in the case file. In addition, the Commission approved our request to implement electronic distribution of orders and notices to all case parties as long as they agree to electronic distribution. This is a huge leap forward! We are revolutionizing how the courts work and I know we would not be able to make these kinds of inroads without the overwhelming success of aiSMARTBENCH and its quick adoption by our judges.”
For more about aiSMARTBENCH™, visit http://www.aiSmartBench.com.
About Mentis Technology Solutions
For over a decade, Mentis Technology Solutions, LLC has set the bar for what is possible in document indexing and redaction. Now Mentis has reset the bar by unleashing its game-changing technology with a paper-free software solution for judges to use in the courtroom and in chambers. Founded in 2000 by patent-holding software designers, its solutions are now in over 200 county court, land records, and secretary of state offices nationwide including ten of the largest counties in the country. Mentis corporate headquarters is located in Colorado with sales and marketing offices in Florida, California and Ohio. To learn more, visit http://www.MentisTechnology.com.
Released April 2012.