General Litigation Newsletters
The Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York is a high-tech courtroom. The courtroom has the latest technology, which helps cases proceed in an efficient manner. There are flat screen computer monitors in the jury box and on the witness stand. The judge's bench and the counsel tables also have flat screen computer monitors and docking stations that enable the use of computers during the trial. The podium is electronic and allows the electronic presentation of evidence through a wireless communicator or by DC-ROM.
Amicus curiae is a Latin term meaning a "friend of the court." An amicus curiae is not a party to the lawsuit but is a person or group that has a strong interest in the matter being litigated. The function of an amicus curiae is to bring to the court's attention law, facts, or circumstances in the pending lawsuit that might not otherwise be discussed by the parties to the lawsuit. An amicus curiae's intent is to influence the court's decision.
Drug-related crimes are widespread, and specialized courts have been set up to deal with drug cases. Drugs courts recognize the connection between addiction and criminal behavior. Many addicts commit crimes to get money to support their drug habits. Drug courts use a therapeutic justice model, which includes treatment services to address defendants' substance abuse problems. Almost all states currently have drug courts, and some states have set up juvenile drug courts to handle delinquency cases involving juveniles with substance abuse issues.
Protective orders are orders issued by a judge to protect a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, harassment, or intimidation. A protective order can only be used against someone related to the victim or with whom the victim has had an intimate relationship. This would include a spouse, sibling, parent, or boyfriend/girlfriend.
Courts are increasingly using technology to enhance the quality and the effectiveness of court proceedings. New York, Florida, Arizona, Minnesota, and Delaware all have state-of-the-art courtrooms. Technology is being used to increase the trier of fact's understanding of the evidence while reducing the length of trials and their cost. Information related to the case is stored and presented electronically. A CD-ROM will hold a transcript, an audio and a video recording of the trial and all evidence that was presented at trial, making a multi-media trial record. This article discusses how technology is being used in today's state-of-the art courtroom.