Like just about everything else in the COVID age, court proceedings have gone virtual and judges, lawyers, law firms, and clients have all had to adapt.
For one thing, after a certain virtual court proceeding went viral, just about every attorney is making sure they know how to turn off any cat filters on their video conferencing platforms.
But successful virtual court proceedings require more than just making sure you know how to get your face—and not a feline’s—on the screen. They also require the right audiovisual technology and the know-how to use it.
Keep reading to learn more about the virtual courtroom and how AV technology can help you make a winning case from anywhere.
The Virtual Courtroom of 2021 and Beyond
With many parts of the country still struggling with high COVID-19 case counts, most court proceedings are expected to stay virtual through 2021. But the virtual courtroom might last even after the pandemic is under control.
Many firms have realized time and cost savings from remote meetings and trials—for example, reduced travel expenses—and activities such as depositions could stay remote even after the public health concern of holding trials in-person has faded.
Cat filter faux pas aside, most lawyers are also more familiar with video conferencing and livestream tools than they were at the beginning of the pandemic, and they have a better idea of what makes an effective remote deposition or courtroom appearance. All of this will make attorneys more likely to reassess what really needs to be done in-person and what can stay remote.
The AV Technology You Need for Virtual Trials
To continue remote trials and other court proceedings successfully, attorneys, meeting rooms, and courtrooms need to be equipped with the right AV technology. Here are some key tools to consider.
- Microphones. In court proceedings, being heard clearly is essential, and a laptop microphone might not get the job done. A small puck mic on the tabletop can go a long way to making it easier for people to hear you. If you are participating remotely from a conference room, well-placed ceiling mics can improve your audio. Just make sure when you don’t want to be heard—for example, if you are discussing something sensitive with a client—that your microphone is covered or muted to keep your conversation private. Understanding the directionality of the talker, background noise sources, room acoustics, and Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) will help you provide the necessary audio intelligibility.
- Speakers. Next to being heard clearly, hearing others clearly is the most important part of a successful virtual trial. Again, the speakers on a laptop might not be up for the job here. An external, professional grade speaker will ensure you and your clients don’t miss a single detail.
- Displays. Without attorneys, clients, judges, and juries in the same room, the way evidence is presented and content is shared has changed. If you will be participating remotely from a large room—or with a large group of people—make sure you have a display large enough that everyone can see. If you will be sharing a lot of content with other remote participants, consider dual displays so you and the content are visible at the same time.
- Video conferencing solutions. Virtual trials are a lot like virtual or livestreamed meetings. Whether you are deposing a witness, conferring with a client, or participating remotely in the trial itself, you need a video conferencing platform that lets you communicate reliably and share content as needed. And remember: some participants—especially witnesses and clients—will be joining from home, not a fancy, well-equipped conference room, so a solution that can be launched from a smartphone or tablet is best.
- Content Presentation Tools. When compelling evidence for arguments goes beyond the written or spoken word, images, videos, and interactive drawing capabilities can be critical tools in conveying an impactful message to judges and juries. Ranging from annotations or drawings, 3D document or object cameras, to sports-like play-by-play overlays, content presentation tools become critical in presentations.
Let the AV Experts Help You Prepare for Virtual Trials
No defendant should go into a trial—virtual or otherwise—without an expert attorney. And no attorney should go into a virtual trial without the help of a qualified AV Technology Partner. AV Solutions can help you build an AV system that is easy to use and works reliably so you can make your case successfully every time.
Let us help you prepare for your next virtual trial. Get in touch today.