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.

All materials © Ted Brooks, unless otherwise indicated.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

YesLaw: Netflix for Lawyers?

A recent article in Law Technology News covers the cloud-based deposition video storage, display and designation clip-editing service provided by YesLaw. It is a browser-based repository system, offering differing levels of functionality based upon the detected device. You can prepare depo clips from your PC, while you cannot with the iPad. YesLaw shared that they are using Flash for the PC and MPEG-4 to play on the iPad. In addition to depo video, they offer a document repository service.

The video quality is pretty good, but everything depends on your internet connection speed. While you could certainly host everything and make it available to anyone needing access prior to trial, when you actually begin preparing for trial, you'll need to get the entire files one way or another. Simply grabbing a few clips won't work - you will need all of the video files. One last-minute ruling can put an end to your movie-time if you cannot edit it immediately. And, you surely won't want to display it in court while depending on an internet connection.

That stated, as long as the pricing makes sense for the amount of access and number of users required, it eliminates the need for multiple mass coffee-coaster (DVD) distributions. For a case that doesn't go to trial, this may save quite a bit of money, along with filing space. On the other hand, for the case that does go to trial, it may increase overall costs, since now you've added a period of hosting fees to the balance sheet.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Screenzilla Assists DOJ in US v. AUO

After deliberating only two hours, the jury in the US v. AUO Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) price-fixing litigation brought a guilty verdict for the Department of Justice in Judge Susan Illston’s San Francisco Federal Courtroom. A key factor, according to Ted Brooks of Litigation-Tech was the DOJ’s decision to once-again utilize the game-changing massive exhibit display provided by Brooks’ company – the 12’ “Screenzilla” screen and projection system. Okay, maybe it wasn’t really a key factor for the verdict during deliberations, but it certainly does help to ensure that all jurors are able to see the evidence in the large District Court. A typical 7 or 8 foot screen would look like a postage stamp in comparison. The use of a large screen was certainly helpful, even though the courtroom is wired with small monitors in the jury box.

I (yes, that’s me in the picture) am 6’3”, if that helps put things in perspective a bit. While a screen this size won’t fit in many smaller courtrooms, it has certainly found a comfortable home in the USDC Northern District.

Regardless of the size or layout of your courtroom, it can be very helpful to set up a central point of focus for your evidence display, allowing everyone the opportunity to follow additional queues, such as a laser pointer. Counsel can then stand next to the screen, pointing and directing attention to a specific section of an exhibit, thus further emphasizing the point. Making sure that the equipment is properly suited for the courtroom and set up correctly can help give the appearance of a well-organized trial team. For more on this topic, also see Courtroom Projectors, Screens, and Monitors.