In the “old days” of trial litigation, lawyers were expected to present their arguments and evidence through one of several basic modes of communication: namely the spoken word, the written word, and physical evidence. And the best evidence always seemed to be an eye-witness account or a “smoking gun,” as it were. But as we learned in the 1990s, sometimes even the best of leather gloves won’t seem to fit.
Enter the media-rich world of the 21st Century. The average person now owns several recording devices, many of which are small enough to fit into a pocket. Video cell phones, camcorders, and personal computers are used not only to capture action in real time, but also to present it before an audience. And in the courtroom, that audience is the judge and jury. In our digital world, more and more evidence is being captured on security cameras, from the mall parking lot to the local Seven Eleven, so it’s obvious why lawyers call for a wide variety of media presentation tools during litigation. This new influx of media has left many U.S. Courtrooms in limbo with facilities that are inadequate for supporting such a wide variety of communication methods.
Compounding the problem, many courthouses now call for flexibility in internal communication systems. The use of video conferencing, public address systems, and closed-circuit television is becoming commonplace.
Where’s the “easy button” when you need it? There are so many different AV reps and product lines that it’s hard to find a turn-key solution. If you’re not careful, you can buy too much equipment, or worse, create a hodgepodge AV system that no one knows how to use. And there’s always that little voice in the back of your head wondering, “Did I get the right amount of the right stuff for the right price?”
This is where independent AV consultants really shine. Since they’re not tied to a particular product line, they are free to recommend whatever equipment is best for the situation. It’s like having an unbiased expert on your side helping you make the right decisions. Although working with a consultant isn’t free, it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Bottom line, an independent AV consultant can help ensure that courthouse communications are relevant for years to come, and in doing so, create a lot more order in the court.
I agree, and I think this is something we need to emphasize more often: the importance of hiring an independent AV consultant. In contrast, AV design/build firms may offer to “design the system for free,” but since they only rep certain product lines, that’s what they spec. So instead getting a good design, you’re just buying all their equipment, whether it’s right for the situation or not.