This article is part of a series of articles about assessing your trial needs in advance of trial to determine whether you can use internal resources or need to outsource to a Trial Presentation Specialist.
For our full checklist, download the printable pdf here.
Each of these questions is worthy of a longer discussion and debate, but here’s some points to guide your discussion and assessment.
1. What general IT skills are needed?
Apart for having an expert levelunderstanding of TRial Presentation software [TrialDirector or OnCue], your courtroom trial tech or in-house resource should have an excellent understanding of multiple common IT operations.
Of course, a new, fully optimized trial laptop with no extraneous software or apps should run very smoothly without hiccups during trial. However, things happen and your trial person should have a high level of competency when it comes to preventing or correcting issues that may come up.
- Courtroom connection configurations. Laptops generally have to be configured in advance or sometimes daily to match the configuration or resolution of the courtroom system. Are you constantly switching connections between counsel and possibly an elmo? Is this equipment brought in by you/opposing counsel or a 3rd party? Any change to what goes on the screen can sometimes cause you to change your settings.
- Switching to Backup. Depending on the reliability of your equipment, laptops can sometimes crash with the demands of multiple applications and resource intensive video applications. Make sure your trial person knows how to quickly correct or switch to their backup laptop instantly.
- Sync software. Make sure you have real time sync software that can truly mean you are switching between two identical versions of your trial database and files.
- Add exhibits. New exhibits come in all the time. Hopefully they are already digitized, but often trial teams will only share the paper copies and the trial tech will have to use their portable scanner to have it ready to be presented on screen. Make sure you have the right software to scan, convert to pdf, stamp an exhibit # and quickly load into your trial presentation software.
- Screenshots. Often there is a need to take a screen shot of an exhibit, application, markup, etc. Make sure you have a screen shot utility that can crop, highlight, annotate and convert to pdf on the fly.
- File Management. Sometimes you have to rename hundreds of files on the fly, print out an entire file list or export into excel to compare file sizes. Don’t do this manually… make sure you have the right software to automate these tasks.
- A multitude of various IT tasks come up during trial or in the war-room. Sometimes its networking or printer issues and sometimes its simple windows troubleshooting. If you have a good 24/7 help desk on call for those midnight challenges, then don’t worry.
For our full checklist, download the printable pdf here. Use this to better assess your in-house resources or use as backup to justify the benefits of outsourcing.
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