Bar News - September 14, 2012
Morning Mail: Justice: On The Road to Bangalore?
Recently I was reading Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat, a treatise on economic globalization and the benefits of offshoring. At the same time, I also encountered a computer software problem. After calling the 800- number, I was quickly connected to a software person in Bangalore and we talked through the issue, resolving my problem.
Following the painless and successful resolution of the software issue, I returned to Friedman’s book and it was then that I realized the solution to New Hampshire’s court issues is to take the computerization of the court system one step further than the Concord call center.
Rather than have clients wait for months to get into court, and then wait additional months for the decision from the courts, we could offshore the trial courts to Bangalore and conduct hearings by Skype or by videoconferencing. The hearings could be scheduled within days and decisions rendered immediately electronically. The individuals who would be hearing the contested issues would be cross-trained (as is the new practice) in matters of landlord-tenant, divorce, probate and a smattering of other legal issues, such as unfair trade and secured transactions. Criminal cases would still be handled the old-fashioned way.
By utilizing this suggestion, clients would not have to wait months to learn whether they in fact have custody of their children or whether they are to receive or pay child support. Decisions by the individual in Bangalore will please some and disappoint others, which is not unlike judicial decisions. We would use an offshore clerk’s office to process requests and schedule hearings by videoconferencing. The decisions would be issued within hours instead of months.
The Supreme Court would still retain its appellate powers and responsibilities.
I have to give credit to the AOC, which started us on the road to Bangalore by the implementation of the call center.
The above suggestion may raise some constitutional issues, but I am sure they can be addressed just as judiciously as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It has worked well so far.
Randall E. Wilbert