Trial Preparation Tips: Technology, Strategy, and Good Communication
The trial is at the center of our great justice system. In a society where due process is a staple of our criminal justice, the trial—in many cases—is the battlefield where attorneys use evidence, witness testimony, timelines, expert testimony, and other tactics to defend their clients and present their case to the jury.
A lot rides on a trial, that attorneys know they must be prepared and ready. Here at Jonathan Leach trial preparation, we help attorneys flesh out every aspect of their case so they better prepare and ensure a successful outcome. After many years of working with attorneys and mock juries, we thought we’d list some common tips and ways of jury persuasion using technology.
How Technology Can Aid a Trial
Although technology has advanced and infiltrated every aspect of our lives, the trial continues to be a space that operates under the same principles. The burden of proof, evidence, and the decision of a jury continue to be at the center of a trial, but there are ways technology can aid attorneys in getting their message across. After all, so much trial preparation is ensuring that communication is at its finest by your legal team so that your argument is laid out in full view for the jury.
Even today, many attorneys are missing out on the great opportunities offered by new technologies in the courtroom. It’s important, of course, to check in with the court to ensure that any use of technology is approved and that the court itself has the capabilities to accommodate these, as many courtrooms still do not.
Here are some examples:
Visuals are great aids that can magnify and better display what might be a clunky bit of text or deposition. Using platforms such as PowerPoints, Trial Director, and other programs can help highlight a section for the jury and present it more clearly. Using a program such as PowerPoint helps the attorney to create bullet points and extract important points from their message to get it across to the jury.
Most depositions today are video recorded and with the accessibility of video playback, using these deposition clips in court can prove quite effective. Videos are great in showcasing the human angle of a testimony that is often lost in written text.
Other Video Tips
Depending on the trial and the technology approved, attorneys can use video to represent or recreate events creatively and visually. These videos or clips should be carefully reviewed and quality and accurately assured. Trial preparation is a great time to test out some of these video clips and get input about their effectiveness and quality.
Don’t forget tech support
When using any technology in court, it is a good idea to have a tech support person on your team. Technical difficulties tend to distract people and can throw an attorney off-kilter, so having a specialist present will ensure issues are dealt with immediately.
Just like every other aspect of a trial, attorneys should test this out in trial preparation. This means even visiting the courtroom to ensure capabilities and plan out set up, but it also means trying out the evidence and visual aids in front of a trial prep group or mock jury.
Everlasting Tips for Trial Preparation
Trial preparation is not simply a rehearsal space but a space for trying out new ways or tactics to communicate with a jury. It is a place to learn and research about how juries function and how they process or take in messages and/or certain types of evidence. When preparing for trial:
Attorneys know to explore every aspect of the case
No case is black and white, there are always nuances and maybe even some unexpected hiccups. Attorneys must consider these aspects to really flesh out every angle of the case.
Ensure effective communication with the trial team
Everyone involved in building a defense or prosecution should be part of a team effort. Cases flow much more smoothly when every member of this team is working together with the right information of all aspects, changes, etc. This is easier said than done, but trial preparation can be a great tool to get everyone on the same page.
Know the judge before you
While the job of the judge is to interpret the law and listen to evidence without personal bias, judges are different in the way they operate and preside over their courtroom. Some are overly strict and inflexible with rules and others are more easy-going and open. Knowing and studying the judge can help attorneys be more successful in their case without running into unnecessary mishaps.
Preparing witnesses for trial questioning
The preparation of witnesses is a big part of trial prep. We have written about this in previous posts. Because every case is different, situations are different, and every witness is different, understanding how your witness reacts or communicates will help you better shape the questions and ensure that your witness understands the proceedings.
Need to Prepare for Trial? Use Professional Trial Preparation and Mock Juries
Whatever aspect of your trial you are looking to prepare or flesh out, Jonathan Leach Trial Preparation and consulting is ready to assist with strengthening your case. If you want to try out presentation aids or technology in your defense or prosecution, use trial preparation as a tool. Connect with us today and find out how we have helped attorneys all over the country get ready for court.