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Using Technology in the Courtroom: Are You Backed Up?

Over at Digital Practice of Law, the author references an article discussing the “Do’s and Don’ts of High-Tech Trial Presentations,” courtesy of Law.com. My favorite mistake, as cited in the article is people who don’t have a backup plan:

8. No backup plan. Courtroom technology is reliable, but accidents and equipment malfunction can and will occur. If you have a long trial, you may be allowed to fix the problem during a recess. But if you have a short trial or a tight trial schedule, you may be required to immediately go to plan B. If you are presenting evidence from a laptop, be sure you have a backup laptop and backup external hard drive with the same files. If you are providing a projector, make sure you have a spare bulb.

I think it is important to note that the “no backup plan” mistake can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Factor in technology, and the risk increases. Add in a high-stakes trial (or any trial, for that matter, since you have to make money, right?), and you have a recipe for disaster. This all goes back to my point about making sure you have an appropriate backup plan. If you plan for the worst, you’ll be sitting pretty if something bad does happen.

Something even more important to remember is that a crisis can strike outside the courtroom. What about that important presentation you’re giving at your firm’s Litigation Section meeting? How about the paper you are presenting on campus next week? Yep, techno-crises can happen anywhere. The best method is to be like a Boy Scout and “Be Prepared!”

I would add one suggestion to the Law.com author’s points. If the stakes are really high, strongly consider bringing along a non-technology-dependent backup (as well as your extra laptop, external hard drive, etc). This way, your presentation can go forward, no matter what ill fortune the technology demons throw your way.

Do you have a suggestion to aid in technology-based presentations? We’d love to hear it! Please leave a comment or drop me a line.

[tags]legal andrew, technology, courtroom, backup[/tags]

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