Attorneys regularly spend years litigating cases before they ever go to a courtroom. If a case does go to trial, the parties often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get to that point. If you find yourself with a trial on the horizon, make sure you engage with a trial technician to act as your “hot seat” operator. A trial technician is an expert in presenting evidence electronically and becomes an integral part of the trial team. The benefit of trial attorneys who embrace the use of a multi-media presentation in the courtroom by engaging with a trial technician will have a substantial advantage over those that do not.
I transition from one trial to the next as a trial technician. one courtroom to the next. The trial experience is ongoing, which keeps my “hot seat” abilities at the top of the game so that every case’s presentation runs well.
Prior to the trial, there are many questions that the trial team must address:
- How will I present my evidence in the trial?
- Will any witnesses be testifying via video deposition/video conference?
- Will I want impeachment clips created?
- What do I want to do for my opening and closing presentations?
- How is the courtroom set up?
- Who will run the equipment at trial and troubleshoot any A/V issues?
- Does the court require an Equipment Order to bring in equipment, phones, etc.?
A rising number of courtrooms are now outfitted for electronic display with dedicated monitors for counsel, witness, jury, and the judge. If a trial is not outfitted for electronic display, I bring in all hardware necessary to outfit the courtroom, some of which includes the following:
- Projector and screen
- Flat Panel Monitors
- Document Camera
- VGA splitter
To aid the jury’s understanding and help ensure key points are captured, I create visual demonstratives such as timelines, diagrams, charts, graphs, and animations. I also work with the trial team to prepare opening and closing PowerPoints while applying optimal design, formatting themes, and visuals to help keep the Jury engaged.
When it comes to operating the courtroom “hot seat”, I present documents, photographs, and videos on the fly at the direction of the attorney conducting the examination. Once a trial exhibit is on the screens, I apply lighting-fast annotations by calling out paragraphs and highlighting key text. This provides for a fluid exam where the witness can look at the screen in front of them to review trial exhibits and respond to questions instead of taking the time to flip through multiple binders searching for the specific trial exhibit.
Proper use of trial technology can not make a bad case good, but it can make a good case great. Remember when you are preparing for your next trial, engage with a professional trial technician who has a proven track record of success.