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Trial Presentation Technology
At trial, no matter how well prepared, you're going to be thrown a lot of knuckle balls. However, just as in facing a tough knuckle-baller, there is always an opportunity to knock it out of the park. Preparedness and excellent communications in the war room translate to presentation success in the courtroom. Effective trial technology is simply about being over-prepared. As they say, "you're case presentation is your case." Having the requisite skills to run a presentation is one thing, but the wherewithall to react to adversarial procedures and unexpected day-to-day activity is another.
Therefore, regimented pre-trial and war room procedures must be established to reduce the opportunity for failure. Although hardware and wiring are often culprits, it's human error that drives most problems: last minute edits to the PPT and handing to the trial tech as the court session begins, realization that an exhibit needs to swapped out just before a presentation, or a newly understood designation for impeachment can all be problematic due to lack of time to execute.
Whether its a PowerPoint driven by the lead attorney's remote mouse or annotating documents on the fly during an intense cross examination, all presentation activities go through and are controlled by a hotseat operator. Using Trial Director, we can work with any type of document or form of digitized media for presentation while having an exceptional tool set for annotating, zooming, calling-out, stamping, branding, comparing and displaying multiple media types on the screen simultaneously.
Approaching trial, we'll perform a survey of the court's technology capabilities. Communication with the lead clerk will offer the necessary insight. Most venues today are modernized to the extent that we can "plug-and-play" into their A/V systems; however, it prevails that we often have to install our entire suite of presentation equipment to facilitate event requirements. The onsite survey ensures the proper technology installation and will also warranty an introduction to the clerk and support staff.
Additional Items for Consideration:
Judge's Preferences: An initial and important concern is knowing the preferences of the sitting judge. As the filter of your case, it is crucial to understand their preferences. Knowledge of the venue and the best mode to present case data should insure improved bench relations through trial.
Security: An initial concern is the court's policy on security. If there is a gray or blackout position on technology, we'll need to navigate those policies to ensure we can utilize the level of technology required for the case presentation.
Fault Tolerance: From a data perspective, you must be planning for the worst case scenario. Fault tolerance is maintaining duplicative images of hardware, software and data in the event of some kind of technology failure. The redundency allows for a seamless "flip of the switch" to continue on with the presentation often without the court even knowing there was a glitch.
Equipment: Courtroom equipment can range wildly, so early knowledge of the presenting attorney's preferences is crucial to staging the environment. Specialized equipment might take extra time to allocate and make available. the ELMO, Digital White Boards, Interactive Touch Screens, and iPads (tablets) are now considered regular trial weapons. To integrate may require an early introduction and training.
Tablets: Trial presentation strategy is expanding to utilize tablets to further integrate team members with access and rights to the trial database. Most presentation software developers are offering cloud-based hosting system for your trial exhibits and video. This facilitates the option of providing team members with apps and tablets for access and preparation.
Admitting Exhibits: We'll track exhibits as they are submitted on a daily basis.
Exhibit Log: We'll record the presentation as it's being presented to the court, complete with markup and annotations. Each exhibit is timestamped and a final report produced for the legal staff.