Service to Allow Real-Time Electronic Access to Trial Pleadings
DAYTON, OH, May 12, 2005 - LexisNexis U.S., a leader in comprehensive and authoritative legal, news and business information and tailored applications, has been selected to implement LexisNexis® File & Serve to manage the filing and access to documents in a high-profile murder trial before the Fulton County (Ga.) Superior Court.
Media interest is expected to run high in the trial of Brian Nichols, 33, who is accused of the March 11, 2005, fatal shooting of Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and three other court and law enforcement personnel before escaping the courthouse, where he was being tried for rape. Nichols was indicted on May 5 and the first hearing was held Wednesday.
Clerk of Court Juanita Hicks said, "LexisNexis File & Serve has been in use in Fulton County civil courts since 2000. Based on its successful performance there, the court has decided to implement LexisNexis File & Serve for this trial, making it the first criminal trial offering e-filing in the jurisdiction. That’s important because it will help us manage the number of filings and the expected demands for copies from media during the trial. Once filings are electronically accepted by my office, copies are immediately available through the LexisNexis File & Serve system from anywhere at any time. Copies will also be available at the Clerk’s office."
In the last 12 months alone, over 50,000 documents have been filed and served electronically in Superior court. Fulton County State Court also uses LexisNexis File & Serve for civil cases, and 130,000 documents have been filed and served in that court in the last 12 months. Documents are stored in their original form and automatically converted to a PDF format.
"These murders have had a tragic impact on the court itself, and court officials have chosen LexisNexis File & Serve to help mitigate the increased burdens placed on its staff during this trial," said Michele Vivona, chief operating officer, LexisNexis, in charge of the LexisNexis File & Serve operations. "Prosecutors, defense counsel, and the court benefit from having more control over the filing and service process, and along with the media will be able to see documents at almost the same instant that they are filed or served."