A government legal agency was prosecuting related child abuse cases on behalf of 500 elderly plaintiffs.
The evidence in these cases was sourced from National Archives and consisted of over 25,000 aged paper documents. The documents contained significant quantities of handwriting. There were 500 stories to be examined, each with their own unique, but often overlapping document sets.
The cases posed two interesting challenges that Delium addressed with ease.
- How could 500 individual case databases be managed in a way that was not cumbersome or time-consuming?
- How could technology in the Courtroom support elderly witnesses, some with significant visual disabilities?
The legal team working on this case were committed Delium users. They implemented Delium’s Common Evidence Framework to streamline objective coding and first-pass review activities by sharing relevant data across the 500 related cases automatically.
Pre-hearing, a ‘Common Case’ was created to globally code and manage a single evidence library (the Common Case) for the 500 individual claims, sharing:
- Government policy files
- Institutional files
- Individuals files
A ‘Satellite Case’ was set up for each of the 500 individual claims.
The legal team undertook first-pass review in the Common Case, tagging documents to whichever of the 500 related cases were relevant. As the documents were tagged Delium automatically updated the Satellite Case with the document data, eliminating the need for exporting and importing data and images into the 500 cases.
The legal team then undertook a focused analysis of each Plaintiff’s claim in the Satellite Case.
The Common Evidence Framework delivered a higher level of objective coding accuracy and significantly reduced coding and hosting costs. Any coding errors found on documents were corrected in the Common Case triggering an automatic update of the data across each Satellite Case also.
Using Delium at trial enhanced the witness’s ability to read the evidence in a way that a traditional trial, relying on printed documents, could never have achieved.
Delium is designed to work on screens of all shapes and sizes, unconstrained by the need for video cabling which must deliver an image to a standard resolution across all connected monitors. Delium’s display is flexible, accommodating the resolution of the device each user has available.
For the elderly witnesses, this meant a much larger monitor could be deployed, rotated to portrait mode to support the display of whole pages. Documents shown to witnesses with significant visual disabilities could be displayed zoomed in to the relevant sections without impacting on the presentation of the document to other participants in the hearing room or the Public View screen.
Delium’s capacity to display evidence to a sub-set of participants also significantly streamlined Voir Dere arguments. As Delium’s evidence display is not reliant on cabling or switching technology, Counsel and the Court were able to publish and view documents between themselves without having to ‘turn off’ the Public or Witness Screens.
Comments from the Participants “Delium was comfortably used by all concerned.”
“The witnesses were quite elderly and had little familiarity with computers. Delium displayed the material to them quite passively and they could read the material without having to do anything.”
“The hyperlinking in transcript was very effective making nightly review very easy.”
“Delium’s security meant we could share documents with our team, with opposing Counsel and with the Court, without the witness seeing the documents being discussed”
“Searching in Delium was faster than working with paper in the Courtroom.”