Shave Days off Your Next Trial

Jury “Kill Switch” (Part 2 in a series)

The advantages of digitally presenting evidence to a jury exceeds just visual appeal, smooth transitions and clearer viewing.

Electronic trial exhibit presentation systems also provide the opportunity to utilize a jury “kill switch.”

With a kill switch, the attorneys are given the ability to “kill” the screen that displays exhibits to the jury. This permits the judge, counsel and witness the ability to review non-admitted exhibits on their monitors and have the witness testify as to the foundation of an exhibit, all out of the viewing presence of the jury. The jury sees and hears the testimony, they just don’t see the non-admitted exhibit. Once proper foundation for the exhibit exists, the judge then allows the exhibit to be published to the jury. With a simple flip of a switch, the now admitted exhibit is instantly displayed on the jury’s monitor or screen.

Kill Switch  A jury kill switch can be implemented in several ways, including with the use of a more complex matrix switcher or a simpler 2 channel VGA switch. The simpler method is to insert a switch between the presentation signal and the jury’s monitor or projector. When you activate the switch, it interrupts the signal going to the jury’s monitor. When you deactivate the switch, the signal to the jury’s monitor is restored. Some switches have the ability to be remote controlled which provides the most flexibility for the attorney or trial technician. The remote control function usually permits multiple remote switches to be connected allowing multiple trial technicians or the judge to operate the switch simultaneously, for the most flexibility.

A few important considerations: It’s important to adjust the jury’s display to hide all on-screen messages, such as “no signal” or “searching for signal” or the infamous blinding “no-signal blue screen”. Also, the displays used by counsel, the judge and the witness must be turned at an angle so the jury cannot see the screens. Now you can use your presentation system most efficiently without skipping a beat…

Presentation technology helps to expedite trial. In the instances that non-admitted exhibits need to be dealt with but cannot be shown to the jury, utilizing a jury kill switch allows the momentum to continue without having to resort to tedious binders.

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Shave Days off Your Next Trial

Trial Technology Integration (Part 1 in a Series)

Every moment counts when it comes to trial. Generally speaking, lawyers can expect to encounter tedious elements of trial that seem unavoidable and ultimately prolong the process. For instance, the time that it takes to sift through numerous exhibit binders in document intensive cases. The correct planning and use of technology can be the difference of making a long trial a few days shorter. Even in instances of a 1 day trial, efficiency through the use of technology can be a significant advantage for the attorney and the client.

Without the use of technology in document intensive cases, it is not only more demanding of your time, but also a momentum killer during trial. Typically, presenting exhibits electronically eliminates the need to pause and sift through exhibit binders or thumb through pages. This allows you to keep the examination flowing and in control. When a trial exhibit presentation database is built properly, the exhibits are immediately accessible and instantly presented on large displays for the judge, jury and attorneys.

Shave time blog 1Oftentimes, displaying a trial exhibit requires typing in several characters or numbers to recall. A critical element in creating an efficient trial exhibit presentation database, is adding the ability to recall any exhibit with the fewest number of keystrokes possible. For example, to recall exhibit seven, typically you would type in 007-001 + enter, that’s 8 keystrokes. By removing all leading zeros and also the “1” (referring to page one) from the exhibit number, the number of keystrokes is reduced by over 87 % to 2 keystrokes, being “7 + enter”.

Reducing the number of keystrokes to recall your exhibits reduces the amount of time to display your exhibits, while also improving reliability and greatly reducing the chance for mis-typing exhibit numbers.

There are many ways to shave time off your next trial. Stay up-to-date with the latest from our blog for this series of articles.

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