The law is not known as the world’s most innovative or progressive profession. Law firms strive to project an image of stability to their clients, and clients tend to feel comfortable in a setting that evokes images of unchanging tradition.
In order to compete in the 21st century, law firms must get on the technology bandwagon. While still projecting a solid, comforting image to clients, personal injury firms are using the latest technology to manage cases more efficiently, collect and preserve evidence more effectively while presenting cases to judges and juries in ways that are more informative and persuasive.
Most law firms today use some type of case management software to maintain client databases, keep track of deadlines, manage billing and digitally store all documents for each file. In order to keep up with a constantly moving population, case management software also incorporates digital signature technology. A Buffalo personal injury law firm, for example, can reach clients anywhere in the world on short notice and send documents for review and signatures. The ability to communicate time-sensitive information can make the difference between settling a difficult case and losing an opportunity. Using case management software also helps keep confidential documents secure and reduces the possibility that clients’ personal information will get into the wrong hands.
After an automobile accident, evidence needs to be collected and preserved before it disappears. Even the best car accident attorney in Monroe, North Carolina, or anywhere, can enhance his or her practice using the latest technology and a little imagination.
Skid marks, tire tracks, damage to the surrounding vegetation – all of these can provide vital information that may prove who was at fault after an auto accident. Still photographs are, of course, a useful tool, but overhead videos using drone technology can show a clear, more comprehensive view of the scene. Imagine the impact of an overhead view of the accident scene on a jury! If you are not ready to start purchasing drones, wearable technology like GoPro cameras and Google Glass can also show juries and expert witnesses a first-person view of an accident scene.
We have all seen television programs showing trials with blown-up photos being shown to a jury, or pieces of physical evidence in plastic bags are passed around. Using programs like TrialPad, Trial Director, Sanction and others, an attorney can organize, highlight and present documentary and video evidence to a judge or jury in a way that is easily understandable.
The O’Brien Firm represents individuals in tractor trailer accidents and trial presentation software can create and organize a comprehensive overview of the accident using video clips, slides, 3-D diagrams and animations, allowing a jury to experience the accident as if they were there. Video montages showing an accident victim’s daily life can also give a jury a much better understanding of the lasting impact of an accident.
Trial presentation software can also be used effectively in cross-examining hostile witnesses. When a witness’ testimony in court contradicts his or her earlier statements in a deposition, an attorney will usually read excerpts from the deposition to the jury. Imagine how much more impact a series of video clips from the deposition would be. Seeing and hearing the witness contradict his or her testimony is much more effective than having the words read by an attorney.
The ways in which new technologies may be used by law firms is limited only by the imaginations of the firms’ owners. The traditional, solid firm of the past may have to embrace the innovations of the future in order to compete.