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Legal technology revolution expands beyond Miami court reporters to family law


An app could change family courts in the way Miami court reporters agency Courtscribes is changing record keeping.

While Miami court reporters agency Courtscribes uses technology to revolutionize record keeping, others are upending other aspects of legal proceedings.

One such offering is a new app that could help thousands of low income Floridians who can’t afford lawyers as they defend themselves in family court. The Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice released the app last week. The app gives access to information and documents needed for divorce, seeking a protection order and other aspects of family law.

Commissioner Gregory W. Coleman said the app is designed to help those who can’t afford a lawyers. According to the Tallahassee Democrat:

A so-called justice gap, hampering millions in civil court cases is a growing problem, according to experts. One litigant does not have a lawyer in more than three-fourths of all civil trials in the United States. Last year, nearly two million people were turned away from legal aid providers due to a lack of funds, according to the Bureau of Justice.

In announcing the app’s release, Coleman said it’s needed even after the legal profession donates more than a half-billion dollars in free aid annually.

“(And) that’s just making a small dent in the 85 percent of our citizens in family law that are self-represented,” said Coleman. “There is not enough free legal work lawyers can do and there is not enough money to help them.”

As the commissioners are using technology to democratize access to family law information, Miami court reporters Courtscribes uses cloud computing and audio and video recording to democratize record keeping.

Courtscribes’ technology allows the Miami court reporters to provide more accurate records more cost efficiently than by traditional means.

Professor and entrepreneur Barry Unger writes that Courtscribes, “is changing the court reporting industry by using Internet age technology to create the official record of court proceedings, using remote transcriptionists and charging attorneys up to 50% less than what they now pay, and as argued below as a disruptive technology will not only improve the quality of services, but also ultimately extend and even democratize the use of services that are today often restricted only to high profile or high dollar value cases. The attorneys not only benefit from a less expensive transcript but the video and/or audio recording provides them with a more accurate and verifiable record.”