I’ve spent the last few weeks in various trials, either helping or just watching. Recently, I was watching the Anna Alaburda trial that we’ve covered here multiple times. I’ve seen some really skilled trial attorneys do what they do best, but I’ve also seen them stumble in ways they should not stumble.

The Alaburda trial has a lot of exhibits. There is a rolling bookshelf of binders behind each set of attorneys. Each attorney has a trial technician running some kind of trial presentation software. The attorney says, “Let me see exhibit 300, page 4.” Seconds later, exhibit 300 page 4 comes up on the screen, and they can zoom and highlight on all of the pages. Everything was going great until one of the attorneys for the defense said something along the lines of, “Ok, now I have an Excel spreadsheet and, since I can’t put it on the screen, I’m just going to give it to you and have you describe it for the jury.” Seeing litigators stumped by large spreadsheets is not uncommon, but it’s such a weird stumbling block.

Read more at http://abovethelaw.com/2016/03/technology-in-trial-part-1-how-to-keep-excel-from-stopping-you/