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 summary 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 audio, 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.

 
 

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