Courtroom technology provides us with some of the best methods for conveying our thoughts to the world. Think of how often slide show presentations punctuate our lectures, or mobile computing helps audiences better visualize everything from brain surgery to zip lining through the Amazon.
Attorneys can absolutely benefit from these multimedia tools, as they are designed to communicate major points in effective ways. But you will need to do some research to determine which multimedia option will help you best represent your client’s interests.
Multimedia is a broad concept, encompassing a far-reaching range of visual, auditory, and interactive technologies. These days, it’s likely you’ll be using at least some rudimentary tools to get the job done at least once in your legal career. In fact, some courtrooms are building touchscreens, whiteboards, and other tools right into the jury booths and lecterns!
Some of the multimedia resources attorneys utilize in the courtroom include:
- PowerPoint, Prezi, and other presentation programs
- Evidence cameras
- Electronic whiteboards
- Teleconferencing equipment
- VR or IPIX displays
- Digital audio reporting
The Federal Judicial Center has a comprehensive resource regarding the different multimedia tools that may be of use to attorneys, and how to best harness each of them in the courtroom.
When it comes to these and other multimedia tools, you will be limited by what local and state courts allow, as well as what a courtroom is technically equipped to handle. Don’t waste time creating a PowerPoint presentation if there’s nowhere to project it for the judge’s or jury’s consideration. Most courtrooms these days are equipped to accommodate some basic courtroom technology, but don’t bank on that.
Failure to use these tools correctly can be detrimental to your case, so before you go to trail, ask yourself if you are effectively utilizing the technology to present your evidence. Just because technology is there, that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to use it! Sometimes, you might actually be better off with the “lo-fi” option.
With that in mind, before deciding to incorporate multimedia tools for presentation into your case, consider the following questions:
- How will this help my client?
- Will this help the judge or jury better understand the points I plan to make?
- Is it possible this technology could obscure my arguments?
- What kind of backup plans are available in case the technology fails?
After conducting a thorough assessment, you can decide whether or not to move forward with what’s available.
The Houston Trial Attorneys
Thiessen Law Firm is an award-winning criminal defense firm for the Houston, Galveston and surrounding areas in Texas. We’ve got the track record and the experience needed to make sure justice is served, and we’re willing to take the necessary steps to ensure it happens. Contact us today for your free consultation.