Litigation technology refers to a wide variety of electronic systems used by various parties in the legal process. One example is that of computer-generated animations used in giving evidence. Another is software used to organize and collate the wealth of documentation used in trials. There are also examples of technology used by the judicial system itself.
Computers are increasingly used to generate animated reconstructions of events. This could allow a jury to get a better understanding of how an incident took place. For example, an animation might show what is believed to have happened in a road accident. It could also show where shots were fired from during an incident involving a large crowd.
The advantage of such systems is that they can show a three-dimensional, real-time portrayal of an event which was not captured on film. This is usually done by using photographs and forensic evidence to build up a sequence of events and then creating an animation to fill in the gaps. One disadvantage of such litigation technology is that a lawyer may question how reliable it is, meaning the person creating the animation needs to have a clear record of what information was used to create it.
Litigation technology is also useful for dealing with the vast amount of documentation created in a court case. In most cases, there is much more documentation than would appear from simply looking at the events in the courtroom itself. This is because lawyers need documents to cover every possible question or challenge which might arise in a case.
Another advantage of electronic documentation systems is that it is considerably quicker to locate a particular detail buried away in the mass of information. As well as having a practical benefit, this can even help a lawyer’s chances of victory. Because they do not need to search through multiple paper documents to check a particular detail during questioning, they may appear far more certain about the points they are making. This can influence a jury into believing those points are more credible.
Another form of litigation technology is used by court reporters. These are people who work for the legal system and make the official transcriptions of proceedings, rather than journalists who cover a case for a newspaper. One technology is stenography, in which the reporter uses a special typewriter which is based on sounds rather than letters, making it much quicker to type once the user is fully trained. Another technology is voice writing, in which the reporter speaks the words of each witness using a special masked recorder which blocks anyone else from hearing their voice.