Litigation-Tech Articles Archives 2

Beginning with my time in-house at Brobeck (1998-2002), I have enjoyed writing about Legal Technology for many publications. This archive is intended to preserve many of these older articles, which were written prior to the Court Technology and Trial Presentation blog, which started in 2009.

Thank you, Ted Brooks


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How To Troubleshoot A PDF Printing Problem? -- by Ted Brooks   Print This Article
TechnoLawyer member Edwin Bideau asks:

I am having a devil of a time printing out PDF files. We have started scanning files for legal cases which is working fine but printing out is a real trouble.

We are running HP printers that are 21 PPM fast printers and really kick out regular word processing files promptly. However, when we try to print out a PDF file, particularly one that has been Bates numbered, it slows to a crawl taking 30 seconds or more to send each page over to the printer.

It is even worse with a networked Konica copy machine/scanner that is supposed to print at 30 PPM. This machine has all available print memory you can buy but it seems like it is receiving the PDF file one page at a time, thinking about it, printing it, shutting down, waking up, getting the next page and printing. It is printing maybe 8 PPM max.

When the computer is sending the file to the printer, particularly if it is a long file, it is very slow, particularly anything over 4-5 pages and is tying up the computer and the copy machine/printer both. Has anyone got any suggestions? We are running 256 memory on each of the computers. There has to be a better way to print out than this. Would appreciate any help available.

There are a number of potential factors leading to your slow printing, beginning with scanning and running through the printing process itself. I will address a few of the most common problems:

a. First, you may be scanning at a higher resolution that necessary. Normally, you should set your scanner to run at 200-300 dpi. Anything higher just adds to the file size. Large files print much slower, due to the fact that more data has to pass from the computer to the printer during printing. The smaller the file, the faster the print.

b. You may be including OCR text in your file. If you don't need it, you might consider disabling it. This too, leads to larger files, and thus, slower printing.

c. You might try scanning to Group IV Tiff images. These can be single page or multi-page, and normally generate files which are much smaller in size than PDFs. Group IV is generally considered the industry standard in Tiff image compression.

d. The fact that you mention Bates-numbered docs are printing slower suggests you are placing a markup on the document in Acrobat. This will certainly slow the process, as there is not an actual "burned-in" image until you print. There are tiff utilities that will do the same operation with tiffs, or you may wish to consider converting to TIFFs prior to printing. Acrobat will do this, but it tends to make large files. There are other utilities out there (Z-Print, Scan-It, SuperDox, Informatik, etc.).

e. Printer memory may be an issue, but you note that that should not be the case, at least with your high-speed Konica machine. What you don't mention is how the PC is connected to the printer(s). If you are using networked printers, you should check the speed of your LAN hubs. If you are running a 10 MBPS system, you might consider upgrading to 100 MBPS or even the newer 1000 MBPS (Gigabit) speed. If you are running this process using local printer ports, you will get greatly improved performance using a USB cable instead of the Parallel (LPT1) cable.

f. In summary, you should take a look first at the size of the files you are attempting to print. If they are near or greater than 1MB each, there is a need to reduce file sizes. If this isn't the issue, perhaps the connection speeds might be improved by upgrading. Most likely, you will have some room for improvement at both ends.

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Seven Months; Four Cases and Huge Verdicts - The Trial Lawyer, Summer 2003   Print This Article


Shropshire v. City of Walnut Creek - Contra Costa County Superior Court, Civil Action No. 01-02541

Plaintiff's Attorneys: William B. Smith and Robert J. Waldsmith of Abramson & Smith (415) 421-7995

Defense Attorneys: William H. Staples of Archer Norris

Diving Accident - Dangerous Condition of Public Property

Plaintiff Scott Shropshire (U.C. Davis diver), age 20, was diving as a guest of the Diablo Divers (a diving club) at the dive pool at the Clark Memorial Swim Center, owned and operated by the defendant City of Walnut Creek. At the time, defendant City of Walnut Creek had concurrently rented water time in the dive pool to 2 private clubs, the Diablo Divers and the Walnut Creek Aquanuts, a synchronized swimming club. During a 3-hour period each day in the summer, the 2 clubs shared the 81-foot long and 40-foot wide dive pool without any physical divider between the 2 inconsistent activities. The shared use arrangement of the dive pool had existed 15 to 17 years prior to the accident without any diver/swimmer collisions although swimmers, divers, and coaches who testified at trial each acknowledged an awareness of a few "close calls" over the years, where divers had just missed colliding with synchronized swimmers. The evidence at trial established that the City's dive pool was the only one in the world that allowed divers and the synchronized swimmers to share use without any means of physical separation between the two activities and also allowed synchronized swimmers to swim into the diving area during the diving practice. The collision occurred when the synchronized swimmer who had been swimming a cool down lap left her position along the wall under the three-meter board and swam directly into the board's landing area. She did this at the time Mr. Shropshire left the three-meter boards for his dive. Tragically, his head hit her right buttocks area, resulting immediate C-4 quadriplegia.

Injuries and Damages: For plaintiff, C-4 quadriplegia. He suffered double-locked facets with C-4 being locked over C-5 causing spinal cord necrosis at that level. Plaintiff's economic loss consisted of $1,064,102 for passed medical bills, $1, 948,380 for loss of earning capacity, and the range of $7,807,932 to $16,292,604 for feature medical needs, most of which represents the cost of 24 hour attendant care.

Settlement's Details: Plaintiff served C.C.P. §998 offer in the amount of $15,999,999. The City offered a total of $12,000,000 in combination with the other defendants.

Verdict for Plaintiff: The verdict for plaintiff was $27,750,000, consisting of $16, 500,000 for economic damages and $11,250,000 for noneconomic damages. The jury assessed fault 60% to the City, 20% to the synchronized swimmer, and 10% to each diving club. The jury found no comparative fault on the part of Mr. Shropshire.

Comment: One significant question confronting plaintiffs' trial counsel before trial was how concisely and persuasively present a large amount of evidence. Their solution - a multimedia presentation intentionally patterned after a Dateline or 60 Minutes investigative report because counsel believed that the jury would be used to receiving information in that manner. Every one of plaintiffs' nearly two hundred trial exhibits was presented electronically, with particular focus on showing various computer-generated diagrams depicting various configurations of the dive pool and the pool facility, photographs of the pool from various perspectives, and photographs and video of the plaintiff, both before and after he was injured. This method of presentation proved so effective that counsel opted not to show "day in the life" video; instead, they used short (5-15 seconds) video clips during the direct examination of plaintiff, and the experts. This allowed the witnesses to talk about plaintiff in more detail and gave the video clips a great deal more context.

The electronic presentation of evidence also enhanced and reinforced impeachment evidence. It is an extremely powerful moment when the jury sees the witness contradict himself or herself via an adjacent video monitor.

Finally, plaintiff's presentation contrasted sharply by the presentation by the defense, which involved shuffling corkboards back and forth and publishing hardcopies of documents to the jury. In the end, the jury looked to plaintiff for the evidence not only because they had become accustomed to receiving it in an electronic fashion, but also because plaintiff's evidence was more creditable due in part to the seamless way it was presented.

...provided by
...Trial Consulting and Courtroom Presentation provided by Litigation-Tech LLC

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Here's another $27.75 M to add to the growing pot of TrialDirector winnings - perhaps the first one for version 4.0?   Print This Article

In the Shropshire v. City of Walnut Creek matter, wherein a highly talented talented and competitive young diver dove into a swimmer, causing him to instantly become a quadriplegic, the jury just brought home a $27.75 Million dollar verdict. This is an exceptional verdict for this type of case.

It seems we utilized nearly every tool available at one point or another during this visually-enhanced trial (at least for Plaintiffs), including the new numbers on the displayed exhibits feature. We (Litigation-Tech LLC) were representing the Plaintiff in this one, and the defense chose to use a few blow-ups and paper exhibits. They chose to invest a lot of money in an animation, which only got partially displayed. After the trial, we had an opportunity to meet with the jury. As usual, they were unanimously in support and appreciation of the electronic evidence presentation, and even commented on how clumsy it was fumbling with the Defense's hard-copy exhibits, then collecting and passing them back. They also stated the pace of the trial slowed noticeably when the Defense presented their case. Another item of note was that the closed-caption text on deposition videos was very helpful to at least one juror who had bad hearing in one ear.

The attorneys in this case, Bill Smith and RJ Waldsmith (Law Offices of Abramson & Smith) had no previous experience with technology in the courtroom. They are converted, to the point that Mr. Smith (a highly-regarded and well-known trial attorney) has said, "We will never try another case like this without you." From my perspective, these guys had a steep learning curve to cover, but by the time we were done with the opening statements, we all knew we were connected. Presenting the evidence with TrialDirector enabled us to get nearly 100 exhibits displayed and admitted, while the defense got less than 10. Even the Defense attorney stated that without the technology, the Plaintiffs would have been very lucky to get even 20 exhibits in. In a case where so much rests on visual perception and perspectives, TrialDirector gave us the edge.

These top-notch attorneys have taken a new road in their career, thanks to TrialDirector. As for Mr. Shropshire, this verdict will certainly make it possible for him to receive the care he needs for the rest of his life. The Walnut Creek pool has plenty of new rules to follow, ensuring the safety of future divers and swimmers. This case has been watched closely on a national basis, and will likely be referred to for years to come. As for this Trial Consultant, it has been one hard-fought victory, and very rewarding.

Read SF Chronicle Article

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Litigation Support Software Picks, by Ted Brooks
As appeared on The TechnoLawyer™ Community Newsletter
"Answers to Questions™ - Community members answer questions submitted by their peers"
  Print This Article

TechnoLawyer member wrote: "A third group of TechnoLawyer subscribers don't want any restrictions imposed on their creativity. They write about whatever they damn well please -- old discussion topics, seminars, war stories, product reviews, etc. Their Posts appear in our popular "Fat Friday" newsletter."

This is purely FYI, and is a result of my attending San Francisco LegalTech, in addition to some recent product research (and purchases). When I was in-house litigation support, I would typically shift into "research mode" when we had a few days of calm, especially when we could squeeze in a tech show. The same plan still works well for me, particularly in the middle of a techno-rush as I believe we are now experiencing. I am not going to try to cover any ASPs or service providers, however, there are some fantastic improvements in that area as well. Rather, I will mention a few software upgrades and one new product that warrant a look- not to say there aren't plenty of others, but these are what I have been spending my money on lately.

IPRO Tech Scan-IT and iConvert
iConvert is my favorite type of software (free!). I'm not sure how long it will remain that way, but for now, it may be downloaded directly from their site. It is a load file converter, and it works very well. You have the option to convert several popular load file formats into others (e.g., dii to oll, lfp, etc.). Even though it may sound too good to be true, it's legit.

Scan-IT now brings an affordable version of IPRO's powerful service-bureau level software to your desktop. This should be a great asset to many in-house litigation support groups, consultants, and even smaller production shops.

Image Capture Engineering Z-Print
I've looked at Z-Print for quite a while. Now I'm buying it. When I ran the latest demo on a .pst file and converted to tiffs, that was all it took. It's so easy, and I couldn't find anything comparable. Of course the TIFF driver is great too, and additional files and features are the frosting. These guys are really busy coming out with some great stuff.

Summation iBlaze version 2
I have been around Summation for a while, but this latest is very worth the upgrade (especially since most can get it free with the maintenance agreement). Too much to cover, but it now imports e-mails and native file formats. It has a great new user interface.

inData TrialDirector Suite 3.1, Case OCR, DVT Clip Distiller
This one pays most of my bills anyway, but the inData developers are hard at it, with tons of great new features. Again, there is a lot to cover, but I will say that if the learning curve (or cost) was the issue in the past, it's pretty much gone.

Please understand that these are my own opinions, that I am writing of my own free will, and that I am not being compensated for or by any of the above. My motivation is that when I was busy trying to research new products, I would always appreciate the "inside scoop" from actual users, which I feel is one of the greatest parts of this forum. I hope some would find this information valuable, and although I would not claim to be an expert in all of them, I would be happy to discuss any of it further offline, preferably via e-mail. (I'm sure I've opened my door for a barrage of vendor info now ...)

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