- Florida Courts Technology Commission*: eBench is “A computer application designed for in-court and in-chambers use by trial judges or their staff to access and use electronic case files and other data sources in the course of managing cases, scheduling and conducting hearings, adjudicating disputed issues, and recording and reporting judicial activity.”
- Joint Technology Committee (JTC)** : “Judicial tools include functionalities and resources essential to accessing current and historic case information, and the means to manage and prioritize the work of a judge in chambers and on the bench.”
The keywords are “designed for trial judges or their staff” …because while it is possible for users to access case information through the case management (or maintenance) system, it often is not efficient for searching. Court users don’t always have access to screens or functions that they need in the CMS, and data often isn’t displayed in a “readable” style. This is because the CMS is designed with the clerk in mind.
So what are the differences between the CMS and the eBench?
While they both provide access to court case information, the Case Management System is built for:
- Clerks: it’s focused on the overall maintenance of the entire court caseload
- Fast data entry and storage; the official record is entered and maintained.
- Individual: designed for use by the ‘siloed’ worker, with narrow project scope
- Generally, users are only able to focus on one case at a time
The eBench is built for:
- Judges: Focused on both individual users and the cases on their calendar
- Fast document and information retrieval
- Collaborative work
- The ability to examine multiple cases and documents at the same time