CourtHack in March, Salt Lake City

CourtHack, America’s Foremost Court Hackathon is happening March 4th-5th in Salt Lake City.

I will be a judge there, and am looking forward to seeing great new ideas for improving court experience. There are cash prizes, and experts and case studies from around the country about how to make courts more tech-enabled and effective.

It will be a packed 22 hours — it will be great to see what can come out of less than a day of work.

Matheson Courthouse

450 State Street, Salt Lake City, UT

The brightest legal minds, technologists, entrepreneurs, and others driven by a need to improve the courts for their fellow Americans will form teams and compete in this epic, 22-hour hackathon. Technical, business and legal mentors from partners and sponsors are matched with teams they can actively support before, during, and after the event.

Friday’s “Voices from the Field” discussion panel brings industry experts to share their insights and experiences so participants get a better understanding of the challenges. Afterwards, participants can pitch their ideas and recruit or join teams.

Fri, Mar 4

05:00pm – registration

06:00pm – “Voices from the Field” panel

07:00pm – team matching

07:30pm – dinner

08:00pm – hackathon start + mentoring

11:59pm – dinner, round 2

Sat, Mar 5

04:00am – pre-breakfast breakfast

08:00am – breakfast

12:00pm – lunch

04:00pm – heavy snacks/light dinner

06:00pm – hackathon ends

06:30pm – demos & judging

08:00pm – dinner & deliberations

09:00pm – prizes awarded

Here are the challenges they will be tackling:



Our continually-in-development challenge sets are created in consultation with esteemed partners and designed to help shape how participants approach their projects. The challenges contained within each category are suggestions, not restrictions, of things teams can build that will have an immediate and beneficial impact on people’s lives.
1. Accountability: Predictive Analytics to Target Court Oversight



Court Technology Opportunity: Courts are legally responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in estate assets – both willed and in situations of conservatorships. Though they’re supposed to review these cases annually, most courts simply don’t have the capacity or resources. As a result, it’s difficult to know when financial abuses take place.

  • Resources:  Two training data sets from Minnesota, proposed red flag algorithms, the results of an NCSC analytics review, and a subject matter expert. Download the latest resources for the Accountability Challenge Set here.
  • Possible Deliverables: Teams analyze data from Minnesota and identify algorithms to flag cases of potential abuse automatically.

2. Public Access to Justice: Apps, Tools, and Processes to improve access to justice and allow the public to resolve disputes efficiently



Court Technology Opportunity: Courts lag other industries badly in web and mobile technologies. Simple mobile apps that enable citizens to complete core transactions through remote access will significantly improve efficiency, and help to move cases forward in a timely and affordable manner.

  • Resources:  List of transactions, data models for some of the transactions, subject matter experts.
  • Possible Deliverables:  Tools and mobile apps that implement target transactions with court:
    • Pay a fine or fee.
    • Protest a fee or fine and plead your case.
    • Look up a court date.
    • Retrieve a case file document.
    • File a case.
    • File a case document.
    • Notify a party of a case action.
    • Schedule a court hearing.
    • Schedule a community service sanction.
    • Track a community service sanction (GPS location).
    • Request a reduction of fees or fines due to not having money.

3. Legal Speed: Remote dispatch of emergency protection orders



Court Technology Opportunity: Speeding up the flow of court information to and from the public and the court’s justice system partners is key to personal and public safety.

  • Resources: Expertise and example data sets provided on site.
  • Possible Deliverables: An app to facilitate the application process combined with video conferencing to expedite the process.

4. Wild Card: Gaps in the Court System
CourtHack wants your creative, out-of-the-box thinking! If you have an idea that doesn’t fit within the previous challenge sets, run with it. You can help reinvent how people interact with the courts to make it more efficient and pleasant for all involved.

Two examples to inspire you:






Court Technology Opportunity: There are numerous gaps in the court system and court technology market that can be addressed by CourtHack participants.

  • Resources: On-site experts from both the court system and court technology companies. There will be court experts in attendance who are are knowledgeable about current court problems, useful innovations and desired services.
  • Possible Deliverables: Constrained only by the imagination and skill of the programmers (i.e. online dispute resolution, litigant portals, business rule engines for managing cases).


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