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The Impact of Technology Upon the Course of Trial

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 01:20 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 35.8 
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In an era of unyielding and universal multimedia messaging, words hardly ever stand alone. The power of spoken language and the guidance of the written word aren\'t to be overlooked, but they shouldn\'t be considered the exclusive format for effective courtroom communication. We are well past the point when technical proficiency is considered unsuitable to the professional status of lawyers. With technological incompetence, jurors are no longer amused.

There is growing impatience with multimedia illiteracy because digital technology has brought media virtuosity into the homes of every computer carrying young adult in the western world, with substantial trickle-up to their parents.

Try as some may, there is no insulating trial advocacy from the changes our culture\'s emersion in electronic media have brought in the ways we receive, process and retain information. Today, our world is media-rich, multichannel, and sensorial. We get sounds, moving images, words, and still pictures in a cyclorama of subliminal persuasion, entertainment, and information.

The trial of OJ Simpson had an unexpected consequence, in that it raised our general awareness of the significance and use of various kinds of courtroom technology. Of the many unforgettable images of the trial, some of the most memorable are the scenes of judge Ito\'s courtroom buzzing with computers, monitors, cameras, tape decks, projectors, presentation devices, microphones, audio and video switchers, and the tangle of wires and cables that connected them all to each other and, ultimately, to the world.

What the members of the general public may be oblivious of, however, is that the hardware and software they observed in use in the Simpson trial are just one link in a chain of new technologies that have revolutionised courtroom litigation and the practice of law – and these new technologies hold the promise of great changes to come, as well. Ironically, even the...


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