By David Andre
Trial presentation has become a powerful litigation tool in today’s courts, but there are certain pieces of equipment that are required. The idea behind trial presentation is to display your case materials in a digital format so that you can communicate more effectively with the jury. Generally, you’ll need a way to display this digital info, so you will need such equipment as monitors, TVs, projectors, screens, laptops, etc.
Presenting in a Wired Courtroom
Some courts have trial presentation equipment built into the room. These “wired” courtrooms enable you to just plug in your laptop at counsel table and display your case. The equipment in a wired courtroom doesn’t always work that easily though; you definitely want to do a test run as they sometimes have resolution problems or are faulty for other reasons. Wired courtrooms are like bike-shares: everyone is allowed to use and abuse them.
Additionally, there’s a range of trial presentation equipment that’s been set up in these wired courtrooms. There are generally three options, or a combination of, that you’ll encounter. My personal preference is a projector placed reasonably close to the jury, and I like to pull up a document to test out how well the jury will be able to see it. Another acceptable alternative you may see is monitors for the jury, counsel, witness, and judge. If you’re close enough to a screen, the size doesn’t matter much. Again, test it out. Lastly, a large TV on wheels can suffice, but you obviously want it close to the jury while not blocking anybody’s line of sight. If all you are showing is video, then it doesn’t really matter how large it is. However, if you want to show documents, they need to be readable.
When setting up for trial presentation, I sometimes like to bring in my own projector and find a good place for it even if the courtroom is wired. If the existing setup isn’t sufficient for my needs, I will bring whatever other equipment is required.
Non-Wired Courtrooms: Bring Your Own
Now, your normal courtroom with no trial presentation equipment is what we call a “non-wired” courtroom. Such a courtroom will, obviously, need equipment if you want to utilize trial presentation in your case, but it’s completely up to you which equipment you’ll use. If there’s space for it, a good projector and screen is all you need. You just want to make sure everyone can see it, and read from it, so test it out.
Some prefer monitors for everyone, and in certain courtrooms, it’s effective, but perhaps a little more expensive. Personally I think it’s often overkill.
Reach out to Planet Depos and ask to talk to one of our certified trial presentation specialists at 888.433.3767. We keep detailed notes on every courtroom we visit, and we reach out to all courtrooms prior to trial. We assess the situation and can help determine the best options for your trial. We are dedicated to making your trial presentation experience with us a good one, and your trial a success.