This June, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System announced the Court Compass Project to Benefit Self-Represented Litigants. This project seeks to develop a compendium and analysis of court-offered solutions for self-represented litigants, along with maturity models to guide the development of integrated solutions in courts nationwide. The goal is to provide insight and guidance to court systems as they develop online portals designed for litigants who choose to represent themselves in legal proceedings. As part of the effort, the project has compiled research on the portal services currently available and in development, so that courts can learn from one another to develop solutions for these litigants. A wide range of services is available, including like self-help content, video libraries, mobile apps, e-filing and smart forms, live chat and text messaging, online dispute resolution and online legal advice, and scheduling tools.
Courts are often challenged to make the most effective use of these tools, because it is difficult to integrate tools developed by a variety of sources. MTG is a participant on the OASIS Litigant Portal Technical Committee, which is currently working to develop technical standards that would assist with interoperability of solutions created by different sources. Within the next 9 to 12 months, the committee should have standards developed that will aid the courts as they seek to create effective, flexible, and cost-efficient litigant portals.