Making sure it works!
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many litigators do not test their technology before presenting their case at trial. If the first time you try your case is at trial, you’re already off to a poor start. Understanding your technology’s capabilities is essential to properly presenting your case. Trial Presentation Technology, i.e. Trial Director, Sanction, On Cue, PowerPoint, etc. are quite common, maybe even a standard when it comes to presenting evidence in trial. However, perhaps because of the commonality, litigators often overlook the aspect of understanding not only what the software can do, but what it can’t do.
Any trial tech/ hot seat operator will have at least one horror story from their trial experience. Most of those stories revolve around an attorney asking him or her to “punch up something” or “make this document” do whatever they’ve envisioned in their minds. Unfortunately, sometimes what they ask cannot be completed due to limitations of the technology. This results in a look of disgust or frustration from the litigator, as well as a missed opportunity for them to properly illustrate their point.
Preparing for Success with Trial Technology
A simple way to avoid this pitfall is to setup a practice session with your trial tech. Make sure you both are on the same page and that you, as the presenter, know what you want and clearly communicate that to your tech. Just 15 minutes of rehearsal can go a long way with grasping the features of a software platform.
Some attorneys prefer not to “dive in” until the day of trial to avoid the standard out-of-court hourly fee associated with trial presentation. However, appearing unprepared during the trial could come at a far greater cost than a comparatively small line item of pre-trial preparation. Most trial techs make rehearsal before trial standard practice to ensure the best outcome possible.
Again, for optimal performance, rehearse as much as you can with your trial tech. As wise man from The Big Bang Theory stated, “the key to acquiring proficiency in any task is repetition.”