Court video on CVN lets legal professionals follow breaking events in litigation of interest, whether it be complex, billion-dollar mergers or simply the safety standards that apply in a given community.
Moreover, when a particular trial becomes newsworthy due to an unexpected result (for example, a $500M verdict in the Chanin v. Desert Shadow Endoscopy products liability case, or the $200M asbestos verdict against CertainTeed in Evans v. A.W. Chesterton), the availability of court video allows journalists, bar members, and the public to go back to the event and better understand what happened and how.
However, the availability of court video is so new that even most legal professionals are not aware of the many different ways that court video can be used both during and after trial, for practical, public, and educational purposes.
For example, CVN court video has been used by sick jurors who were unable to attend in person for a day or so, thus allowing the trial to continue without disruption or delay.
Court Video from CVN has also been used in closing argument by parties wishing to refresh the jury’s recollection of specific portions of in-court testimony with far more impact than could be achieved with the mere reading of a transcript or the display of text.
In fact, anyone who has seen CVN’s court video of Bill Gates’ deposition testimony in Comes v. Microsoft knows that juries will be at least as influenced by a witness’s body language, demeanor, and emotional affect as by the actual words spoken, and in this respect transcripts can be much less accurate than video at capturing the events in question.
Court video’s educational uses of course abound, from including video in a traditional law school classroom setting, to a law firm’s senior partner watching portions of a trial from afar, and coaching the trial team each night.
Court video for trial preparation is a must-have litigation tool for many firms, whether they are considering the effectivess of a potential or opposing expert witness, or simply comparing how other attorneys have framed their opening statement in a prior, similar case.
During trial, court video brings together a virtual team of expert advisors and senior attorneys who can help guide a trial team confronted by any unexpected turn. In the war room, court video allows for rapid response. And virtual shadow jurors can provide real-time insight into the effectiveness of a direct or cross-examination.
Court video also allows for the possibility of reducing the cost of litigation, by allowing attorneys and clients to attend and monitor litigation with less travel and smaller in-court teams, which results in less courtroom crowding as well.
This improvement in judicial efficiency actually began long ago, with speaker-telephones in courts such as those used by CourtCall’s service, which allows telephonic appearances. However, the typical court video setup gathers sound from multiple high-quality microphones and lets the participant see what is going on in the courtroom, thus providing a far superior experience for remote participation.
Court video is still in its infancy, but many jurists and legal scholars are concluding that the presence of courtroom cameras is not merely to be tolerated, but actually improves the administration of justice.
And the historic concerns that witnesses or participants might be intimidated or otherwise affected by the presence of video cameras has been disproved by a mountain of empirical evidence drawn from the experience of dozens of states across the years. Florida, for example, has allowed video cameras in nearly all court proceedings for over thirty years to great public benefit and with no signficant adverse effects. And states like Kentucky are so familiar with court video that cameras are permanently installed in nearly all courtrooms by companies like JAVS. Kentucky has found that creating a permanent record of their trial proceedings by video is no more disruptive or intimidating to the participants than when a permanent record is created by a court reporter — which is to say, not intimidating at all.
CVN is proud to bring to the public the news and information that court video makes possible; proud to bring to law schools and all education instutitutions the learning benefits associated with court video (such as CVN’s video trial advocacy training library, developed with William & Mary Law School); and proud to bring to the bench and bar the improvements in efficiency and effectiveness resulting from court video that contribute to the continued improvement of what is rightly called the world’s best system of justice.