Lawyers involved in a billion-dollar claim, with an eTrial ordered, found themselves facing a new Judge just weeks out from trial, who described his background as that of ‘technological ineptitude’.
This complex, financially focused case had been on foot for more than six years and involved many thousands of documents and globally spread legal teams. The trial was expected to run for two years.
The originating Judge had ordered an electronic trial but then recused himself from hearing the matter shortly before the trial commenced. The new Judge agreed that as the parties had been preparing for an eTrial that the trial should proceed on that basis. The Judge indicated to the parties that he was keen to ensure the Court was not dominated by the technology, rather that it be the Courts servant.
Noting the Judge’s reservations, the Courtroom was set up for a typical Delium eTrial. Each party had pc’s and screens on their bar tables and the Judges Associate was similarly supported.
The Judge was set up with two monitors close to him on the bench. The corresponding keyboard and mouse were moved to the other end of the bench……..as far away as possible. During training the Judge was advised that on the first monitor he would see whatever the witness was seeing. On the second monitor he would see whatever documents he asked his Associate to display there.
Within days the Judge had migrated the keyboard and mouse right up in front him and rather than rely on his Associate, was actively working with Delium himself, annotating and commenting on documents in his own Private Case.
The Judge was further supported by Delium through:
- Transcript with hyperlinks to Exhibits
- A messaging system to allow communication between the Judge, the Associate and the Operator
- 24/7 access to Delium from Chambers
- Access to the full set of Pleadings, Court Rules, Legislation databases and Aide Memoirs through the Delium interface
On several occasions during the six-months that the trial ran, the Judge scolded Counsel who continued to rely on hard copy documents for elements of their examinations, noting the delay this caused to the proceedings.
“Rather than rely on my associate, I soon found that Delium had been developed to such a high standard of user-friendliness that its use did not detract from my concentration on the trial.”
“Delium ran extremely smoothly and efficiently without interruption.”
“Delium was a pleasure to use, and I found that I was doing my own searches and retrieving information without delay, difficulty or interruption to the conduct of the trial. On some occasions I even began to feel frustrated when counsel, relying on hard copy documents, were causing minor delays.”
“Delium provides new horizons, not only of efficiency, but of availability and quality of information.”
“The speed of access to obscure passages by simple and efficient search processes saved enormous time in retrieval. The text was presented in a form that was easy to read, as indeed were the documents and the data relating to them.”