Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Finally, a Legitimate Business Use for that iPhone...

According to an article out last night, a handful of bankruptcy courts are about to embark on a pilot project aimed at making mp3 audio files available of hearings, that can be downloaded in much the same way we currently use PACER to access dockets.

The project is reportedly the brain-child of Judge Rich Leonard of the Eastern District of North Carolina. Working in conjunction with Case Management/Electronic Case Files brutes, and those lovely people in the courts' Administrative Office, the program will feature a newly designed interface so that Internet users can listen to audio files of hearings.

Not only is it convenient for small budget constituents and the public at large, it also means that in future big cases, I don't have to listen to NYC lawyers complain about Ft Worth not having any decent restaurants... Even better, mis-informed types like Senator John Cornyn will have one less arrow to use in messing with existing bankruptcy venue provisions.

After the program is put together, apparently it is going to be tested in the following bankruptcy courts: Northern District of Alabama, District of Maine. Also will be featured in the district courts of Nebraska and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

During the test, lasting only a year, the cost to download a file will be 16 cents. Later, small concerns such as bandwidth may increase the cost for larger files.

Kudos to Judge Leonard. This is exactly the kind of forward thinking that our profession needs more of. Not only can I now justify buying that iPhone I have had my eye on, but also a new, sporty European sedan
that is .mp3 ready!

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