By Ted Brooks
In “How Not to Crash,” John Cleaves offers survival tips for litigation support staff who find themselves sudden occupants of the courtroom’s “hot seat.”
Next, Ted Brooks offers five important rules to follow when you are in charge of trial technology in “Survival Secrets.”
Mr. Cleaves approaches the topic from the perspective of a paralegal or litigation support staffer, while I share a few tips, based on my years of experience. John (Cleaves) also has a great deal of experience in the Hot Seat, but for purposes of this piece, chooses to offer some relatively “low-tech” ideas for getting the job done when you don’t have enough time or resources to purchase and learn a bunch of new software and equipment.
I’m not going to rewrite my article here, but I can tell you that anyone who happens to find themselves assuming the role of a Trial Tech will quickly understand why it’s called the Hot Seat. If not for the pure stress of the job itself, add the expectation from everyone that nothing will go wrong – ever. Add to that the fact that once a jury gets accustomed to seeing an exhibit displayed within a couple seconds of its mention, what might have been an acceptable delay using hard copy exhibits will seem like a very uncomfortable eternity.
With that, one of favorite sayings with respect to trial technology is that “It’s not a matter of if something will go wrong, but rather when, how badly it will fail, and whether anyone else will even realize there was a problem.”
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