ACORN Archived COurt Reporter Notes

provides a quick and easy way for court reporters to file their notes with the courts in electronic format rather than on paper.

One of the operational problems faced by most courts today is how to provide secure storage for an ever increasing volume of court reporter notes. The courts are mandated by law to store reporter notes for long periods of time. This can require a significant amount of physical storage space. Along with the issue of providing adequate storage space, there is the issue of ensuring that the paper note files will not be damaged by heat, dampness, or other environmental problems. Finally, there is the issue of how to locate a given note file when it is needed by the court. This is often the most challenging problem of all.

ACORN solves all these problems. It solves the storage problem. It solves the security problem. It solves the access problem. It is simple to install and easy for the reporters to use.

ACORN was originally developed for the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 1998. Since that time, it has been in daily use by the more than 600 reporters working out of 35 different courthouses all across Los Angeles County. Today, in California alone, more than 80% of the official court reporters and 21 of the 25 largest Superior Courts use ACORN to transmit and store their note files.

ACORN is provided to the courts as a web service. As a web service, there is no hardware or software to purchase and there is no support time needed from the courtís IT staff. The court is billed a small monthly service fee based on the number of reporters using the service.

Reporters can access the ACORN service from any computer that has a connection to the Internet. Reporters can access it 24x7 to upload raw note files, dictionaries, or even finalized transcripts. Any type of file that Windows can recognize can be sent to and stored by the ACORN service. Every file sent to the ACORN server is stored in exactly the same format as the original media.

An ACORN server is set up for each individual court. Each ACORN server has mirrored hard drives for data security. Each night, a full backup is made of all files on the ACORN servers. Each week, an additional backup copy is written to a backup server. Each quarter, all the note files that have been archived during the previous quarter are collected and copied onto CD media or, if the volume is large, sent to the court as a secure FTP transfer.

When a note file is needed, it can be quickly retrieved from the ACORN service. Some courts allow reporters to retrieve their own notes, while other courts limit the retrieval process to only the court appointed ACORN administrator. The retrieved note files can be downloaded onto the reporter's computer or emailed to the reporter.
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