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Eagleton Institute of Politics - 60th Anniversary
Eagleton Institute of Politics


E-Gov: Best Practices


Most states now publish court opinions online, and several also provided various other court records, including trial transcripts. A few states have allowed Web broadcasting of appellate court arguments. An increasing number of states are also exploring the filing of court documents online and the use of digital signatures. Michigan enacted legislation in January 2002 authorizing the nation's first "virtual court" in which non-jury business cases will be decided by online submission of briefs and attorneys can appear through teleconference. The National Center for State Courts  sponsors a Top Ten Court Web Site Competition, with the leading overall sites in 2001 the North Dakota Supreme Court; New Jersey Judiciary; Vermont Judiciary; and North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. The North Dakota Supreme Court was also cited in 2001 as Best Overall Judicial Site by the Access to Electronic Legal Information Committee, a standing committee of the American Association of Law Libraries.

North Dakota Supreme Court
The North Dakota Supreme Court offers one-stop legal resources, with its home page featuring news of US Supreme Court and other legal developments from around the country. It is also one of the few courts providing live webcasts of all its oral arguments, with audio archives since January 1, 2001, e-mail notices of newly issued opinions and a lawyers directory with education and links to any law firm web site.

New Jersey Judiciary
Another excellent site for all New Jersey trial and appellate courts. Features useful explanations of court functions and services, help for those who wish to represent themselves, online decisions of trial courts on civil motions and a judiciary "Kids' Page".

Arizona Supreme Court - Administrative Office of the
Nation's first stand-alone web site dedicated to teaching children about the law, sponsored by the Arizona Bar Foundation with funding provided by the Arizona Supreme Court from its Juvenile Crime Reduction Fund generated by surcharges on fines paid by those convicted of offenses. The site was created with the specific goal of educating Arizona's youth, their parents, communities and schools to increase their knowledge about youth laws and to encourage law-abiding behavior.