Saturday, May 30, 2009

How well do attorneys use technology to "teach" their case to the jury?

Trial lawyers, like teachers, are trying to help jurors both understand the case before them as well as persuade jurors that one party's position is better than the other.  If you're with me so far, then you might find this article interesting because it discusses the ways in which lawyers use technology - with differing results - to help teach juries about their cases.

Here's an excerpt:

it is important to remember that technology, like musical instruments, can be acoustic or electric. Like its musical counterpart, acoustic technology doesn't plug into the wall. It includes blackboards, butcher paper and exhibit boards -- tried-and-true technology that generations of lawyers have used, and continue to use, effectively. Upon hearing this reassurance, technophobes often react the same as the MoliƩre character who, upon learning the definition of 'prose,' exclaims with pride: 'For more than 40 years I've been speaking in prose without even knowing it!' Technophobes are relieved to know that the skills they developed using acoustic technology are equally effective with electric technology, i.e., those tools that plug into the wall.

Technophiles view trial technology with a different core assumption. They place undue reliance on electronic technology -- projected documents, animations, etc. -- believing that high-tech is always better than low-tech. In the extreme, technophiles believe that the more they spend on electronic technology, the less time they need to learn, think about, refine and simplify their case.

Read the whole thing here.

I am the scholarship dude.


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