By Nerino Petro at 5 October, 2011, 4:38 pm
We like to think that a technical disaster won't ever happen to us when we are presenting, but that's just not the case. And it's not just a trial: I experienced "technical difficulties" at a presentation last week to the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin. For some reason their projector and my Mac just didn't want to get along. I had been bitten by Mr. Murphy.
The reality is that stuff like this happens, but one of the worst places is during a trial. LAW.COM has an interesting article titled Wrong Way: Preventing (and Recovering From) Courtroom Snafus
The article includes quotes from William & Mary Chancellor Professor Fredric Lederer, who is also the Director of the Center for Legal and Court Technology and Legal Skills) identifies three technological trial snafus:
…there are three types of trial technology snafus: 1) real or perceived hardware failure, 2) real or perceived software failure, and 3) attorney ineptitude. Hardware failure is the least common cause of technology derailment — fried hard drives and light bulbs notwithstanding.
I tend to agree with Professor Lederer, but have found that many of the errors are what we called in the Army "head space and timing problem" or in other words – operator error. if you're planning on using technology for trial, arbitration, or presentations in your practice, this is a good article to read about what can go wrong and ways that you can handle these issues when the arise. The best advice that I can give you after years of presentations is this: Whatever you do, don't panic.