Technology and the Law
I believe technology has taken over the world. Whether it’s good or bad is up to debate. I am leaning towards good. It allows us to connect to the outside world more easily than ever before. One can text or e-mail a relative overseas in seconds. Remember the days of calling overseas and watching the minutes so that we don’t get an enormous bill? No more. Now everyone can ”Skype” each other and actually see into one another’s living rooms–for free. Yes, grandparents can see their grandchildren grow up on their computers. I don’t recommend this by the way. There is no substitute for personal contact.
I do consider myself somewhat of a techy, but there are times when frustration sets in, especially those times when my phone crashes or I can’t get something I desperately need while I’m on the road. When that feeling of helplessness comes over me, I wish we could go back to the way it was.
More often than not, I am amazed by the things we can do with technology. For instance I can take a picture of a document with my phone and fax it with an “app”’ and the person receiving it has no idea that it is not a traditional fax.
I’m also amazed at the mobility that technology has given us. There really is no need to be physically “in” the office anymore. That being said, I much prefer the serenity and focus I am afforded at my desk to the chaos that exists in the outside world. My desk gives me a space to concentrate at more than anywhere else.
Technology is a major part of all my trials now. That means Adobe, PowerPoint, Trial Director, iPads, video conferencing, document cameras and Elmos. I am told that 90% of what we learn is visual. I believe it. Witness testimony is great, but when I prepare for a case I use the right mix of visual, audio and spoken word to make our presentations convincing, persuasive and memorable. No more blown up images glued to foam boards.
As technological as I think I am, the “courtroom” does present a whole new set of challenges. What happens if my laptop doesn’t work? What happens if the projector suddenly stops? What happens if the engineer who sets up the courtroom is late? No worries, I have back ups in place.
We have the technology to make the law more understandable to all. We should use it. I believe our clients will appreciate their case being brought to life with images, videos and sounds. And juries will thank us for it.