While paper records have been used for hundreds of years to document court records, many courts are starting to make the switch to digital files. Not only can court officials easily monitor document management and find individual files easier using this technology, but they can guard against tampering by designating who has access.
If this system had been in place in Alberta, Canada, a records mishap may have been avoided. A spokeswoman for the Alberta Court of Appeal recently acknowledged that in 2011, more than 2,000 records were mistakenly shredded, according to the Edmonton Journal. The records were mostly from litigation that occurred between 1993 and 1995.
Because of the time frame, there is little chance any current cases will be affected by the accident, the source said, though the president of the Criminal trial Lawyers Association, D'Arcy DePoe, told the Journal that some will investigate whether or not this affects them.
The situation could have easily gone the other way, which is why many courts are choosing to digitize their files. According to the D4 eDiscovery Service Blog, doing so in a legal setting often makes files more accurate, simpler to search and easier to share with peers.
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