An attorney presenting his case to a jury or judge may be likened to an actor performing on a stage. A trial presentation technician is like the stage crew, moving the props and adjusting the lights to draw focus to the actor (attorney) and elements of the stage. The effect is a seamless performance, so the story is presented clearly and effectively. If an actor had to pause and move a prop or adjust the lighting, the audience would not be able to follow the story very well. They would probably lose interest or miss the point.
Trial presentation is the process by which attorneys convey important information to a judge and jury as part of making a convincing argument with the goal of winning a lawsuit or defending a person charged with a crime. While attorneys have used evidence to make their arguments for centuries, effective modem trial presentation incorporates the use of computers, graphics and video to make a more powerful and compelling argument.
We all know visuals add impact and aid retention. It’s wise to employ plenty of visuals to support your points. The more visuals you have to display, the more help you’ll need to manage and display them effectively.
It’s important in a fast-paced trial to minimize distracts and avoid wasting time, the time allotted to you by the Judge as well as the jury’s time. Envision this: You are addressing the jury. You remember a document that will support your point clearly which is among hundreds of other pages in the boxes of documents you brought to court with you. You stop addressing the jury, walk to the boxes, flip through a number of pages until you find the specific document you need, walk over to the ELMO (hopefully it and the LCD projector are already on), place the document on the ELMO, look at the projector screen, adjust the zoom and focus, turn and begin addressing the jury again. You lost them when you stopped talking and walked over to the document boxes. They were so distracted, they lost the point you were making and you wasted a lot of valuable time.
Now envision this: During the two weeks before the scheduled trial, you hired goDEPO . We scanned, organized and bates numbered all of those boxes of documents before the trial so any single page can be found instantly. As you continue addressing the jury, you say, “Please display bates number 267.” Within one second the document is displayed on the projector screen. You say, “Let’s look at the second sentence in paragraph three.” The technician highlights it as you begin to read it. This time you retained every juror’s focus and drove your point home in a few seconds. Even if it were a document you had not anticipated displaying so that you had to say, “Can you bring up Tom Jensen’s September 23, 2011 email,” it would only take the technician a fraction of a second longer to locate and display it. Now imagine your whole presentation, opening, direct, cross, closing, everything going that smoothly.
goDEPO offers trial technical assistance options you are not likely to find from any other provider. You choose the level of our involvement:
- We will handle everything including
- digitizing and organizing all the documents and materials,
- printing and binding jury books,
- provide an in-trial technician to provide instant display of documents with on-the-fly zoom, highlighting and comparisons throughout the trial,
- extract and play video clips with text from synced video depositions,
- quickly edit videos as the Judge rules on portions to be stricken before they are played for the jury,
- display, scroll through, zoom in/out and adjust MRI images as a physician witness describes the findings,
- and the list goes on, or
- We'll show you how to do it yourself, or
- We’ll deliver, setup, takedown and pick up just the equipment you need such as an ELMO, LCD projector, projection screen or large panel television, or
- We’ll assist with a few of the more technical exhibits while you or your associate handles all the rest.
Should you do it yourself? The choice is yours. But you may want to consider the following: If you can’t find a document quickly or your equipment fails or you fumble with the software, it will be distracting, it will reflect poorly on you and it will detract from your presentation. Using goDEPO puts the onus on us to provide properly trained and equipped technicians to handle the equipment and software, as well as prepare and organize the exhibits, deposition transcripts, videos and synchronized video deposition clips, and provide instant access to any single page among the boxes full of documents.
We have handled courtroom presentations all over Louisiana, including Lafayette, New Orleans, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Opelousas and several smaller cities and towns. Our technicians have obtained Certificates in Trial Presentation from the National Court Reporters Association and received extensive training from the trial presentation software developers. We know what we are doing.
Attorneys tell us the key to success in a trial is Preparation Preparation Preparation. Whether you need just a little assistance or for us to provide a full-service professional trial presentation technician, we will help you be prepared to make the best case possible. The better prepared you are, the better your chances of winning the trial.
Using new technologies in the courtroom to display evidence is not only a powerful tool that can help win cases, it is also the way of the future. You have probably seen one of the new Federal courtrooms that have been built with presentation equipment installed, such as monitors, speakers and projectors, because the demand for this valuable tool is growing and will continue to grow. Don’t be the attorney who walks into a courtroom with paper files and boxes of documents like he has for years only to be blindsided by an opposing counsel who came in with an experienced trial technician employing computers, slick software, big screens and lots of technical bells and whistles that dazzled the jury in comparison.
It’s about utilizing the resources available to you to present the best case possible. goDEPO ’s Trial Presentation Division is here to help you do that.