Wining by the fear of technology? Last week we were hired to provide litigation support and present evidence in a local criminal trial where the defendant was accused of tampering with a witness and false entry on a government record.

You can read more about the trial from news reports here, here and here. But what I wanted to write about is a strategy that I’ve never seen or used before in my career of litigation support.

In the initial meeting our client stressed that he did not want us to show up until the prosecution’s star witness was about to take the stand. He was going to ask the judge for a quick break (we had two trial consultants waiting outside for a quick 10 minute complete setup) when she was called. The thought process was to make the witness uneasy about telling her story, which was full of holes, by the unknown of what we had on our computer and projector and 8 foot screen.

Well… It worked. The prosecution DIDN’T CALL THE WITNESS, when they saw us setting up for our trial support, they decided to rest.

After the not guilty verdict, the attorney went straight to do jury research. He asked why they felt the way they did and it was clear; They felt the DA’s office was hiding something by not calling the witness, and without her testimony there was no question about convicting.

We didn’t project one trial graphic, no legal Powerpoint, no trial presentation at all…basically didn’t do a bit of what is know as “trial support”.. didn’t even turn the computer on. Our client’s response was “your presence is what won this case for us, I can’t thank you enough, for doing nothing”.

First time for everything I suppose! The world of litigation support never ceases to amaze me.