Court project paves the way

If Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) gets support for his vision of a virtual hearing room on Capitol Hill, Congress might want to mimic the Courtroom 21 project, a joint program of the College of William and Mary and the National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg, Va.

The technology-equipped courtroom serves as an international demonstration project that explores how technology can improve components of the legal system.

In January, Michigan Gov. John Engler signed a law to create the nation's first cyber court, which is based on Courtroom 21, according to Fredric Lederer, project director and chancellor professor of law at William and Mary.

He added that the Michigan House of Representatives' Civil Law and the Judiciary Committee held a hearing about the cyber court in which Lederer and others testified remotely from Courtroom 21.

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