Well, after an obvious extended hiatus that I won’t detail here, I’m baaack. I will say the past few months of my life was a real circus and I’m happy to say it has now been downgraded to mere “Performance Art”.
My previous blog left you hanging with the line ” What’s involved in prepping for presentation.”
My plan was to pepper you with the expectations, from the trial technicians point of view, the necessary elements vital to having a successful presentation.
The wind was taken out of my sails recently when I read an excellent, downloadable , 33 page eBook entitled “The Ultimate Guide to Engaging a Hot Seat Operator” provided by A2L Consulting which pretty much says it all and I encourage you to download it here.
My emphasis to a client (as well as theirs) is the importance of communication with the Trial Tech. Early involvement is a must, and rehearsal is mandatory.
For those of you less inclined to download their eBook A2L Consulting sums up the role of the Trial Tech’s role on the opening page in 3 bullet points:
- Organizing and preparing documents, video and other evidence to be used at trial.
- Setting up the war room and courtroom consistent with local court rules.
- Running the trial presentation software and equipment during trial so that trial counsel can see any document, video or exhibit on a moment’s notice and so that the presentation runs so flawlessly that the fact- finder focuses only on the evidence, not the method of the presentation.
Reread that last bullet point. One of the my greatest frustrations is when a client decides to run their own presentation. I see that as a disaster is in the offing. It’s usually to “save the client some money”. “What about saving the case?” is my usual thought.
At this point I go over what the lawyer, or his paralegal, should be aware of in the court, what equipment to rent from us and the pitfalls of using their “off the shelf software” versus actual software designed specifically for a trial presentation.
If I haven’t shaken them back into reality I make a note of the court date and try to leave some time open in the event I get a “panic call”, which happens about 9 times out of 10.
It’s that 1 in 10 that always surprises me.
We had a recent request…
from a law firm we’ve worked with for several years make that last-minute call for synchronized depositions for a case they were about to present.
I’d presented cases for them in the past in arbitration and was somewhat surprised to hear that they planned on presenting the videos themselves. I went through my basic spiel about what to look for in the courtroom, etc., etc. and we discussed costs for me to sit in for the five days anticipated for the trial.
They were adamant: one of their lawyers would present the videotaped, synchronized depositions, and oh, could I come in and show him how it works. Well as luck would have it my schedule didn’t allow for a crash-training course. The discs were delivered and I made a mental note to leave my schedule a little leeway “just in case”.
The call never came.
About a week later I received an email from one of the principals telling me that they had won the case and the videos were instrumental in their victory!
1 in 10.
Without naming names I’ll just say if you read the article in The Hollywood Reporter we were with the prevailing side.
Kudos to the attorney who presented the videos. Will wonders never cease.