The legal system has traditionally lagged behind the rest of the nation in adopting technology. As technology plays an increasingly important role in our lives, its presence in the courtroom increases. With this increase in technology, there is mounting evidence that attorneys who benefit from it may get better results.
As technology spreads in the courtroom, those who don’t use it are falling behind. What is up-to-date today will be standard tomorrow and will soon be out of date. Courtroom Tech offers more benefits than making lawyers appear more up-to-date than their opponents.
Modern technology can help lawyers argue stronger than ever. It gives the courts access to a wealth of new evidence and new, engaging ways to present it.
Prepare before trying
The benefits of tech for legal professionals begin before a trial begins, especially with evidence gathering. Social media sites are an insightful and readily available source of evidence, as evidenced by the 2012 Hoffman versus State Trial. The drunk defendants’ MySpace posts about alcohol showed that they did not take substance abuse seriously.
This social media-backed case against Hoffman was convincing enough to win a manslaughter conviction. If prosecutors hadn’t used social media, their reasoning probably wouldn’t have been as convincing. Alternatively, if Hoffman’s MySpace had portrayed her character differently, defenders could have used it in their favor.
A recent technological advance, data analysis, can also be helpful in preparing for the experiment. Analytics applied to historical court data can predict the success of an argument in a particular court or judge. These insights can help lawyers refine their case before they enter the courtroom.
More interesting evidence presentation
The main advantage of using technology during the experiment lies in a variety of presentation methods. From video presentations to 3D models, the technology gives lawyers access to a wide variety of formats. Leveraging this diversity can help deliver a more engaging and convincing argument to the jury.
Studies in education have shown that students retain information better when they use more of their senses. Following this logic, the jury will understand the case better when lawyers involve more senses from the jury. Technology gives legal teams the resources they need to do it.
In the Bradley v. State in 2012, a robbery victim identified his attackers on their Facebook photos. These photos are far from up-to-date, but this visual demonstration helped prosecutors obtain a conviction. As more technology emerges, it can help the legal teams build stronger cases.
Three-dimensional models of buildings can give juries an insight into the crime scene that they would otherwise not have. Similarly, digital representations of a victim’s injuries can provide a more accurate and effective look at the severity of an attack.
What’s next for Courtroom Tech?
One of the most promising advances in forensic technology is augmented reality (AR). AR superimposes digital 3D renderings on a real environment and also interacts in real time. This technology can fundamentally change the statements made by victims.
Victims, especially in cases of sexual abuse, often feel hurt in the courtroom, which is why they may not want to testify in person. At the same time, it is less likely that statements made through video conferences will arouse sympathy or conviction in a jury. AR testimonials offer a safe and effective middle ground.
With AR, victims can appear in court as a hologram that is closer to personal statements than video conferencing. Juries are more likely to sympathize with the victim or believe him. These broader images let the court spot subtle non-verbal cues that compromise credibility.
Of course, for such technologies to work, the courtrooms must be able to support them themselves. If something is too modern for a lawyer to do efficiently, they might appear incompetent. A lawyer’s ability to use technology is just as powerful as the technology itself.
The use of technology can make a fall or break
No law firm should adopt the latest technology just because they can. If implementation in the courtroom causes disruption or slows down the process, it can be counterproductive. On the other hand, if lawyers can apply it without much difficulty, it can strengthen their case.
As technology advances, lawyers have more assets than ever before. By using this technology, lawyers can appeal to more senses of a jury and prepare for new challenges. The law firms that will be most successful in the future can benefit from technology.