On The Record, by Ted Brooks
As appeared on The TechnoLawyer Community Newsletter
"Answers to Questions - Community members answer questions submitted by their peers"
Answer: Allow me to respond by letting the testimony speak for itself. I was recently involved in a major jury trial, in which judge and jury alike were very much in tune with the technology. Rather than attempting to defend the cause, I will simply insert an excerpt from the judge's closing comments to the jury:
Western MacArthur Co. et.al v. USF&G et.al: Final comments (emphasis added) from Hon. Bonnie Sabraw to the jury, 6/03/02:
page 6026 16 But I want you to know that you have had an 15 opportunity by being jurors on this case to participate in one 16 of the most well-prepared, if not the most well-prepared, 17 cases that I have seen, that you have been on the cutting edge 18 as far as technology in the courtroom, that you have had an 19 opportunity to see a case presented by people who clearly know 20 what they're doing and how to do it. And if you sat through 21 several jury trials, you would discover that oftentimes people 22 are very well prepared, sometimes they are not very well 23 prepared. But not -- you're not going to find another case, 24 if you do go sit on a jury somewhere else, I would imagine, 25 that would be as well prepared and tried as this one has been. 26 And so for those of you who have never had this 27 experience before, if you do find yourself back on a jury at 28 some time in the future, you might find that it's not tried in
page 6027 1 quite the same fashion. So you should, quite frankly, feel 2 fortunate that you were able to participate in this particular 3 jury trial. 4 We, as I said, have here some technology that even 5 this court -- that I have not used in my courtroom before. 6 And we all had some concern about how is that going to work, 7 and it worked very, very well. And we have some people here 8 who have been behind the scenes. I don't know if they're all 9 here at this point. But you didn't, other than having 10 "Mr. Brooks, would you do this" or "Roumiana, would you pull 11 up that," you didn't have an opportunity to hear from them or 12 meet them, but they truly participated in putting on this 13 trial. And I do want to introduce to you Mr. Ted Brooks who 14 is not here, probably went on to the next case.
28 THE COURT: All of these people made it happen as
page 6028 1 far as the technology is concerned, and we certainly don't 2 want to leave them out in terms of our appreciation. 3 I'm sure that when you came into this courtroom and 4 next door, when it first started, you had some idea that this 5 case might be a little different. Most cases don't go on for 6 several weeks. Most cases don't have this technology. Most 7 cases don't have as many attorneys sitting at the counsel 8 table and attorneys involved in the courtroom. 9 And, again, you have been fortunate to participate 10 in a case that is complex and required your full attention. 11 And that's something else I wanted to mention, because the 12 fact is we have observed, all of us, how attentive you've 13 been; how, when something comes up on the screen, you're all 14 tuned into it. You were truly participating in the case, not 15 just letting it sort of flow over you. And -- and that's a 16 very, very important part of -- of being jurors, and we all 17 really appreciate that.
Are you curious how the court views technology? How the jury views it?
Take a look at an excerpt from the
transcript of the Western MacArthur v. USF&G case.