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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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Standard of Care: Trial Support Services

Which is more important – cost or value? Although both must be considered when bringing in a Trial Technician, cost will often override most other factors. In some cases, that doesn’t present much of a problem. In others, it can literally affect the outcome of the case, compromising the levels of experience and overall performance available to the trial team.

Monica Bay, Editor-in-Chief of Law Technology News, shares that their “Technology on Trial” column has been a reader-favorite since its inception in 2002, and that “High Profile Trials” was one of the top stories of 2013. Covering several newsworthy matters (Litigation-Tech provided trial support services for 2 of them), the article offers several examples of how technology has affected the outcome of a trial. It is interesting and entertaining to read about those big cases with the budget to bring in all of the best people and latest equipment. But what about matters which don’t have the big bucks available to support it? What are the options?

Lowest Cost – This would appear to be the easiest point to consider when evaluating multiple bids, although in addition to the hourly rate, other cost-related issues can be a factor. Some may offer a low hourly rate, but add “rush” charges or overtime premiums. Others may offer some or all of the trial presentation equipment at no extra cost. When comparing bid estimates, it is important to consider as many factors as possible.

Best Qualified – Vetting multiple providers can involve some additional research. Most will have a list of referrals, and can provide actual contact information if requested. Experience in matters of similar scope can save many hours, eliminating the need to “reinvent the wheel” for your case. Even in an age of readily-accessible information online, one of the best resources is the referral from a colleague. A referral provides the “inside scoop” that may not be available through other channels.

Best Value – One important business economics principle is the contrast between cost and value. Paying less money for the same item makes sense. Paying more money for a similar, yet superior item also makes sense. Every trial is unique, and decisions should be made appropriately. The least expensive option will fit some, and could spell disaster in others.

Additional information on selecting the best Trial Support Provider for your case: Ten Questions to Ask Your “Hot Seat” Provider, and Ten Qualities of Top Trial Presentation Professionals

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