Attorneys urged to learn court technology

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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Ever worried about what happens if you don't know, understand, or use courtroom technology correctly in preparing for trial?

A new video from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana offers a glimpse into the possibilities, from the dramatic portrayal of a federal judge dozing off during trial to a nervous attorney sweating profusely in court when jurors and courtroom staff can't hear him.

After updating its Web site and revising a video on the Video Evidence Presentation System late last year, the court is using the month of April to urge attorneys to view the video and learn about using court technology to their benefit in preparing for litigation. The video is available online here, and the court is hosting two seminars in the next week to help familiarize trial counsel with available technology.

The online video is divided into nine categories and shows a trio of attorneys preparing for a trial before Chief Judge David F. Hamilton. The video uses dramatics to show one of the attorneys covered in sweat while addressing the jury, Judge Hamilton dozing in his chair, and an introduction by Judge John D. Tinder - now on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals - who talks about the importance of technology.

The video gives attorneys an introduction to the VEPS, explains its benefits, and offers tips on preparing for trials, according to court historian Doria Lynch. The court's aim is to have as many attorneys as possible trained on the system.

Jill Zengler, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District, demonstrates how to use the pod and document camera, while John Maley with Barnes & Thornburg explains using the video recorder and witness touchscreens, Kathleen DeLaney of DeLaney & DeLaney discusses laptop connectors, and Offer Korin of Katz & Korin discusses audio devices.

Aside from viewing the video online, attorneys can also attend two seminars this month on courtroom technology. An Inns of Court seminar set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis is called "Enhancing Professional and Trial Skills Through the Use of Technology." Another at 10:30 a.m. April 15 will be an Indiana Continuing Legal Education Foundation employment litigation program on how trial counsel must be familiar with that technology. That seminar is at the ICLEF conference facility at 230 E. Ohio St., Indianapolis.

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.