The Use of Presentation Technology in the Courtroom
1995 was the year of the O.J. Simpson trial. The former pro-bowler and current celebrity was accused of brutally murdering both his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. It was impossible to turn on the television, listen to the radio or pick up the newspaper without hearing about how the case was progressing.
It seemed like an open and shut case. There was an apparently overwhelming amount of evidence against him. There was a long and documented history of Mr. Simpson physically abusing his wife. There was human hair consistent with Simpson’s on the shirt that Ron Goldman was wearing, as well as on the black stocking cap found next to the bodies. There was blood evidence that was consistent with Simpson and both of the murder victims found in his car, as well as in various spots all over Simpson’s home.
The prosecution presented all of this evidence and had expert witness after expert witness describe how blood typing and DNA sampling works, and while these witnesses were brilliant in their fields, they were incapable of relating the evidence to a jury that knew nothing about DNA or blood typing. But if you ask anyone what they remember about the trial, they will most likely tell you about the scene where Mr. Simpson put on the leather gloves that were found at the scene. They were apparently too small for him. Simpson’s defense team seized on this, turned it into a catchy rhyme (“If the gloves don’t FIT, you must ACQUIT!”) and the trial was effectively over.
O.J. Simpson is a free man today, despite evidence that would have convicted almost anyone else in the country. Trial lawyers all over the country took notice and learned an important lesson. If you have complicated evidence that is a crucial part of your case, you had better explain it to the jury in a manner that is clear and easy to understand. To that end, prosecutors and plaintiff attorneys have become much smarter when it comes to using technology to present their cases, and at Lewis and Tompkins, we take pride in integrating the finest presentation technology available into our presentations.
Why Courtroom Technology?
Personal injury cases cover an incredibly vast array of subjects. Cases involving spinal injuries, brain injuries, car accidents, insurance disputes, accounting, architecture, pharmaceuticals or the manufacturing of products are all deliberated by juries. These are all topics about which the majority of Americans know very little, yet when they are selected for jury duty they have to essentially take a crash course in any one of these subjects during the course of the trial. We’ve found that the most effective way to make a complex subject comprehensible to the jury is to make practical use of existing technology.
For instance, if a brain specialist is explaining how the injury suffered by our client has caused memory problems, having a computer generated 3D model of the human brain while he is giving his testimony can help the jurors have a better understanding of how this happens.
If a client is suffering from one of the more common complications from laser eye surgery, having a visual simulation of what the complication is actually like can do more to make the jury understand what the client is going through.
If the case in question is a dispute over responsibility in a serious car accident, an examination of the police reports and photos of the damage to the cars can be used to generate a re-creation of the wreck itself.
Presentation technology can even be used for the comparatively simpler aspects of a case, such as enlarging and displaying documents in a manner that will allow attorneys to highlight or underline elements that are crucial to their cases.
Anything that allows your attorneys to relate your case to the jury in a way that makes the sometimes complex facts of the case easier to understand improves your chances of success. While technology alone won’t win your case, the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Lewis and Tompkins can utilize it to make your case as clear as possible.