A guide to eTrials
In the digital age, the volume of material before the court is growing and creating new document management challenges. Advances in technology have streamlined the trial process, while fostering the growth of intuitive and efficient work processes. Some courts such as the Land and Environment Court of NSW have embraced the potential of paperless hearings to save time and cost. Service providers, such as DTI’s NuLegal team, have developed eTrial services to support hearings both large and small.
What is an eTrial?
An eTrial (or electronic hearing) is the alternative to traditional, and costly, paper-based hearings. The major difference between the two is that documents are submitted and presented electronically in an electronic court book controlled by a central operator, while also allowing remote participation in real-time. High-definition screens are placed around the courtroom, so everyone including the judge, witness, counsel and clients have the same document in front of them at all times. As a result, eTrials negate the need for paper documents in preparation and throughout the course of a hearing, leading to massive reductions in both cost and duration of a hearing.
An essential part of the process is working closely with the parties to provide guidance as to the preparation of documents by providing protocols based on years of experience. DTI’s NuLegal team is the most experienced Australian provider of eTrials, offering Electronic Hearing Services consisting of two parts: Electronic Evidence Presentation and the Online Review Book.
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Nick Werneman, eTrial Consultant, NuLegal