The Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blawg features articles, reviews and news of interest to lawyers and other legal professionals. This blog is published by Ted Brooks, a Trial Presentation and Legal Technology Consultant, Author and Speaker. Ted's trial experience includes the Los Angeles Dodgers divorce trial, People v. Robert Blake murder trial, and a hundreds of high profile, high value and complex civil matters.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Going to Trial Soon?

(no political message intended)

For the following hypothetical, let’s assume you have a trial coming up in a couple months, and that your case warrants having someone assist with the trial presentation, including handling all of the equipment, documents and deposition video designations, and an Opening presentation slide deck. Which provider should you choose, and how can you find them?

Personal Experience – If you’ve used a trial presentation firm in the past, you might (or might not, depending on your experience with them) be inclined to call them once again. There is definitely something “comfortable” about working with someone you already know. The same might even apply if you met them while representing the opposing party. I can’t count how many clients we have gained as a result of working against them in trial. It obviously has something to do with performance, but also personality. Anyone you add to your trial team should fit naturally. If not, there are other fish in the sea.

Referrals – The next-best thing to having personal past experience is having the honest and subjective opinion of a friend. They can offer insight on how and why (or if) they would use them again. Another angle on this (albeit with potential bias) would be references provided by potential vendors. While they are not likely to provide you with a list of people having negative opinions, nonetheless it can be a great source of information.

Advertising – While an advertisement might be a little biased, and the info contained should probably be taken with a grain of salt, it could at least add some options worth consideration.  Many legal publications feature relevant ads, and often include categorized directories of potential providers. Since these are generally “paid” listings, they should not be considered a comprehensive resource, however.

Internet Search – This may be the best and most frequently used method in finding just about anything these days. In order to achieve the most relevant accurate results, it helps to be specific, however. Rather than searching in general terms, try adding geographical location or other unique requirements.

As an example, running a Google search on Trial presentation in Los Angeles (go ahead, try it yourself) will net millions of “hits” along with several “paid” ads, appearing above and beside the actual search results. The top three out of “about 20,700,000 results” are shown in the image below – Litigation-Tech LLC, On The Record, and Executive Presentations

Search results for Trial Presentation in Los Angeles

Your results may vary depending on your browser history, settings, and your actual physical location, but with the disclaimer that Litigation-Tech is my company, I can confidently say that I would be comfortable recommending any of these. All have been in the trial support business for many years, and each has a big book of happy clients. I consider Ken Kotarski (On The Record) and Rick Kraemer (Executive Presentations) “friendly” competitors, whom I know and respect highly. L.A. is certainly a large market with a lot of litigation, with an equally large number of excellent providers – these just happen to be the top 3 in the search results.

Regardless of who gets added to your “short list,” make sure to complete your homework by vetting each one thoroughly. It is always better to avoid a disaster than to be forced to recover from it.

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