Should I Hire a Tech / Hot Seat Operator to Run My Presentation at Trial?
YES! YES ! YES! It is true that many attorneys and/or support staff have a good handle on technology. They can create simple power points, have a working knowledge of some connecting cables, and generally maneuver around PCs and Macs. However, like anything else you will use at trial, courtroom technology is a tool that is only as good as the person who is operating it. There are reasons why it is in your best interest to hire a tech/hot seat operator to sit with you during the entire course of your trial.
The idea is "Hope for the best, and plan for the worst." In a best case scenario where the technology is on point and running smoothly, you will be able to either use your AV equipment or rent AV equipment, hire someone to set it up and the entire trial runs smoothly. -- Murphy's law though dictates that "anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Things such as a projector bulb burning out, a projector crashing, a computer crashing, a program not responding, losing an important document to the network, etc. can all throw a monkey wrench into your trial presentation. Hot seat operators always have extra equipment, cables and the know how to get you out of the tightest binds quickly and effectively.
Unfortunately, we have seen attorneys try to run their own trial technology and have issues with a projector, screen, etc. and have to ask the judge for a 30-45 minute recess (anger the judge in return) to have a tech come out to the Courthouse to try and resolve the situation. This only results in angering the judge, annoying jurors, and you will still be charged by your litigation support/ AV team for sending a tech to problem shoot.
Well then I will just have my paralegal run the technology? Is he/she experienced in problem shooting, carrying additional equipment? Has your staff being extensively trained on how to handle the technology at trial while also handling their paralegal responsibilities.
Of course, like anything else in life you must weigh the pros with the cons. Many attorneys believe that there case may not be worth the cost of a daily technician at trial. However, once must ask are you putting the entire case in jeopardy by trying to handle it yourself (or with staff).
If you are headed to trial in Miami Dade County. Broward or West Palm Beach, APVisuals would love to work with you on creating and developing a visual strategy (multimedia presentation, boards, infographics, medical illustrations, 3D animations, etc.) as well as supporting to within the Courtroom. Please call us at 305-318-9570 to discuss. We look forward to hearing from you.