Go In to Win

© Best Evidence

      The question for trial teams is not “to use or not to use” technology, but how to employ technology seamlessly and naturally.

     We were concerned when, while running a recent shadow jury project, our jurors started referring to the trial as The Matrix vs. Matlock. We were concerned because we were on the defense and had deployed all the technology one could have at trial (electronic presentation of all evidence, real time markup and annotation of documents, digitized and transcript-synced video depositions, interactive exhibits, timelines, 3D animation, etc.). Would it add to juror sympathy for the plaintiff, a terribly injured child, to be out-muscled and out-spent by a big corporation? Would they see this as a display of large company using its great wealth against an injured individual?

 

     Our twice-daily debriefing of the shadow jurors didn’t reveal any negative impressions toward the defense, but how would it play out when they deliberated? Even though they found for the defense, we wanted to know if there were any negative impressions of the technology, so we asked them. And guess what? They “weren’t real impressed” with all our technology. In fact, they expected it. They were comfortable seeing technology in use every day, all around them.

 

     What stood out was the absence of

technology on the plaintiff’s side. Our mock

jurors felt the plaintiff’s attorney looked less

prepared, less in control, and much less

competent than his opponent. The real jury

found for our client, just as the shadow jury did.

 

     So the question for trial teams is not “to

use or not to use” technology, but how to

employ technology seamlessly and effectively.

 

     It might be counter-intuitive but the question should be what technology makes sense to use in order to render it invisible to a jury, mediator or judge. This means it must mesh naturally, and function with, not against, the attorney’s individual presentation style. It means it should not be flashy–no 50” flat panels monitors all over the place.

 

     In order to make the best use of technology your team needs an experienced hand that understands not all cases go to a jury and not all cases have the same amount of risk/reward. Someone that will be with you from the beginning and there at the end, whether it is settlement or jury trial or appeal. Someone that doesn’t treat your case as if it is their cash cow. Whether you need immediate on-site scanning in the venue of 1,000,000 documents, a settlement presentation, or help in developing and presenting demonstratives, we are there for you.

 

     Is your company seeing patterned litigation against it? Technology can aid in sharing what you learn at the case level with panel counsel facing similar challenges all over the country. This is what we mean by seamlessly applying technology. Won a big case in Kansas City, lost one in Chicago, facing one in Denver? Wouldn’t it be nice if your Denver counsel could access over the Internet what was done in Kansas City and Chicago?

     

     Technology can aid in sharing what you learn at the case level with panel counsel facing similar challenges all over the country.

 

     Consistent application of best practices

applies to presentation methods as well. Show

up at trial with a truck load of demonstrative

boards and you will look like a bad Bob Dylan

video. Show up at trial with a few thematically on-target boards and notebook computer to project a seamless visual product and jurors won’t be thinking about the technology, just the themes and evidence you want them to remember.

 

Jurors were comfortable seeing technology in use every day, all around them. To these jurors what stood out was the absence of technology on the plaintiff’s side. Our mock jurors felt the plaintiff’s attorney looked less prepared, less in control, and less competent than his opponent.

Technology can aid in sharing what you learn at the case level with panel counsel facing similar challenges all over the country.

Our Method