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Technology Committee

Techlectic ... by Pat Hoover

Unused Tech Courts -- A Modest Proposal

     I would like to propose the organized bar, together with the courts, to develop a program of training, education and practical hands on use of the newest tech equipped hardware found in today's courtroom. 
     Why is it that, rarely, if ever, do attorneys appearing in any of the several new  and amazing, high-tech equipped courtrooms throughout the South Annex in Rockville, actually take any use or benefit of the costly and freely available tech hardware? Initially, I was informed by courthouse staff that before attorneys could access any of the very expensive equipment, the court had to complete its review and study.  Some months passed and I was told that the study was complete and approval for use of the many different kinds of tech hardware had been given to any attorneys with matters before the court (subject, of course, to approval and scheduling of the court’s highly adept, Technical Department).  
     Perhaps the technology is not being utilized because of the kind and nature of cases assigned there – much of the work done in the South Annex has far more to do with domestic –  Family Division - issues than, for instance, personal injury or medical malpractice claims. Some suggest the problem is generational and will soon enough resolve as the number of younger attorneys increase over time. Frankly,  however, I don't buy either explanation for a minute. 
     Whatever the reason, the fact is that the vast majority of trial attorneys are not making use of the tools readily available in the courtroom.  Sure, when a matter has finally reached the point where it is scheduled to be tried before a jury, at that point and only at that point, attorneys will begin to develop the use of basic AV tech, stuff like overhead projectors and powerpoint presentations. But have you been inside the South Annex and seen the courtrooms? Each is a marvel of design and cutting edge technology. Integrated throughout with the most up to date tech hardware, providing an audio-visual experience to judge and jury few, if any other court anywhere, can rival.


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