Court Watch

Hawai'i trial attorneys and appellate court attorneys


Monday, November 07, 2005

Three New Technologies for the Courtroom

A recent article discusses three new devices for quickly displaying documents to a jury in a non-linear order. The Devil Is in the Details: Managing Technology in the Courtroom Jon Trembath Special to November 3, 2005

Trial attorney Trembarth explains that showing your exhibits in sequential development ("linear") can easily be done by conventional software such as a Powerpoint slide show (or Presentations slideshow).

However, a non-linear need to display an exhibit happens on all the time cross examination ("Where is that impeachment document?"), and any other time you are scrambling around the courtroom loking for a document that is not "next in order":

Nonlinear presentation tools are especially helpful for quickly retrieving and highlighting important facts in response to an argument. Access to key documents should be readily available to answer questions that may arise.

Mr. Trembath also advised as follows:

Because tools used in courtrooms are not perfect, have a backup plan. You may have an unpleasant experience if your presentation is stored on one computer and it fails. Have a backup computer. If you use an interactive whiteboard, have a spare projector. Finally, it never hurts to have the tried-and-true poster board available in case of an all-out technological meltdown.

However, such a back-up plan might be too cautious for most trial attorneys.


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