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WHP Well-Equipped to Represent Clients Through Evolving Trial Landscape Toward Hybrid or Virtual Litigation

By Matthew N. Danese, Esq.

Whether it be the questioning of a witness during trial or a deposition, litigators tend to prefer the real-time interaction and accompanying back-and-forth that an in-person experience prompts.  Traditionally, trials and depositions were conducted only during an in-person setting.  Despite this traditional preference, within the past year, WHP represented clients both in fully-virtual and hybrid multi-week trials, which trials included both in-person and virtually-appearing witnesses, as well as countless virtual depositions during the course of litigation.

This evolution toward virtual trial and deposition proceedings arose from a confluence of factors, including advancing technology, which more than ever before closely approximates the in-person interaction litigators covet, coupled with the increased practical need for in-person alternatives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the litigation landscape has shifted to include more frequent, and more effective, virtual proceedings, WHP's experienced litigators continue to adapt to ensure optimal client representation – whether the litigation occurs in an in-person, virtual, or hybrid setting.  As a result, WHP litigators are well-equipped to avoid common pitfalls often encountered by attorneys without such experience, in favor of preferred practices, such as:

  • Maximally Understanding your Technology: Attorneys and their teams that have difficulty using their technology, such as the document software or videoconferencing platform, are prone to delay and unnecessarily complicate evidence presentation, often resulting in confusion to the witness, jury, and judge. Ensuring a clear and organized use of technology allows the judge and jury to focus on the attorney's evidence presentation in an efficient and effective manner. 
  • Using Technology to your Advantage: Attorneys who are afraid to embrace technology may miss the opportunity to further their client's interest.  As examples, the use of interactive diagrams, charts and graphs, or utilizing a video during an opening statement, can keep juries engaged and can enhance articulation of the attorney's argument.  Further, utilizing your document software to isolate, highlight, or magnify a document can help ensure jury understanding of key issues.
  • Using Technology to Augment Effective Evidence Presentation: Despite advances, technology often does not work as anticipated, whether a document won't load or a videoconference platform won't connect. When technology unexpectedly fails, whether that requires the flexibility to examine a different witness than expected, or the preparation to present evidence differently to work around a lagging upload, at WHP we understand that despite advancements, errors in technology arise, and we plan and prepare for such situations to advance our clients' interests.  

WHP's experience in litigation conducted in-person, virtually, or as a hybrid, affords our litigators the flexibility and knowledge to ensure that the primary focus remains on the substantive issues before the court, to ensure the advancement of our clients' interests. 

If you or your business have any litigation needs, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our litigation team with your inquiry.

This article provides an overview and summary of the matters described therein. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice on the particular subject.

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