Pinellas and Pasco Counties are fortunate to be under the jurisdiction of the Sixth Judicial Circuit. It’s Florida’s third largest trial court and recognized as one of the most efficient trial courts in the country. And efficiency includes it being nationally recognized for its automation leadership as well.
According to their website (www.jud6.org), there are a total of 69 judges – 45 at the circuit level and 24 in the county courts. That volume of judges shows just how active and busy the Sixth Judicial Circuit is. And, on the chance that some of you weren’t aware of how many amenities the Circuit offers, we thought we’d do a brief overview.
For instance, Law Libraries. Were you aware of how conveniently located and extensive these libraries are? The libraries can be found in the courthouses in Dade City, New Port Richey and downtown Clearwater, some with over 20,000 volumes and electronic products. These public Law Libraries were created by a special act of the Florida Legislature in 1937 to make legal information readily accessible to the community, from attorneys to the general public.
Another part of what has made this Circuit so efficient is its available technology – technology that every one of us can use as needed. The Technology Office has a staff of 15 who evaluate new technology to purchase, train the staff, develop custom applications, conduct or oversee repairs, installations and relocation of equipment. All of this includes computers, communication, applications, video and audio, Internet and Intranet support.
Some of the technological amenities available in the courts are:
– Audio/Visual Equipment. A/V is available at all locations within the circuit and includes projectors, screens, plasma displays, document cameras and VCR/DVD players. All of this allows the presentation of multimedia evidence and/or documentation. Training prior to use is available if needed but must be arranged in advance.
– Videoconference. The ability to use videoconferencing technologies saves the community thousands of dollars in transportation cost while reducing security risks at the same time.
– Internet & Intranet servers. The Sixth Judicial Circuit was one of the first in Florida to create and maintain a website. The website is very active and new information is being uploaded continually, including general Court News and specific news for attorneys, vendors and service contractors.
For a complete list of the equipment available at each Courtroom location, go to www.jud6.org/contactinformation/technologyoffice.html.