I-COURTHOUSE OPENS ITS DOORS TO JURY TRIALS ON-LINE
November 8, 1999, Lafayette, CA-- Now there's a new way to say,
"See you in court!" iCourthouse has opened its virtual doors
for business, providing on-line jury trials for the internet
community. The web site, http://www.i-courthouse.com, serves a
number of audiences: individuals and businesses interested in having
their disputes evaluated or decided on-line by a jury of their peers;
attorneys conducting mock trials to gauge the strengths and weaknesses
of their cases before trial; fans of television court shows; and anyone
who enjoys deciding disputes as an iCourthouse juror.
iCourthouse was founded by Clyde Long and Claudia Hagadus Long,
two lawyers from Lafayette, California, to provide a community
courthouse for the general on-line public. "More than 100 million
Americans transact business on the internet, yet there is no legal
system in place to handle the disputes that inevitably arise from
e-commerce and other internet transactions," said Mr. Long, founder
and CEO. "iCourthouse is the way you can have your on-line disputes
decided by a jury of your on-line peers. Every year, nearly 30 million
people and companies are involved in civil lawsuits. Many other disputes
are never resolved due to the expense and inconvenience of going to court.
Our courts just don't have the bandwidth to meet the need out there for
affordable, fair dispute resolution. Plus, they simply can't address
internet disputes. iCourthouse has the bandwidth to do both."
Everything takes place on-line. Plaintiffs join iCourthouse, file their Claim,
and receive a case number and password. Their case is placed in the
docket area. Plaintiffs and defendants are issued Trial Books where they
post their arguments and evidence. iCourthouse jurors select the cases
they would like to decide from the docket. Jurors review the contents of
the Trial Books, and are able to post questions to the litigants. After all
the jurors have rendered their verdicts, the parties receive a verdict
that includes the number of votes cast, the median award to the plaintiff,
if any, and a compilation of juror comments about the case. The parties
can choose whether the verdicts are binding or advisory.
iCourthouse can handle more complex cases for attorneys interested in
conducting mock trials. More comprehensive juror profile questionnaires
are provided that include voir dire questions from each litigant allowing
them to choose specific jurors. The Trial Book format can also include
video, graphic and other digital media as exhibits for evidence or expert
testimony. Litigants can monitor juror deliberations real-time. In addition
to rendering a deliberated verdict, jurors answer questionnaires from the
parties about the effectiveness of the evidence and arguments presented.
This information provides the parties with a powerful tool for settlement
efforts and case preparation.