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Lorna Schofield, a partner at New York’s Debevoise & Plimpton were trying a class action that alleged professional malpractice against their client, the Big Five accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Technology was the furthest thing from their minds when they got notice that opposing counsel had selected a high-tech courtroom for the trial. The courtroom is formally known as the Courtroom of the 21st Century in the commercial division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. We expected Star Wars. What we got was a typical courtroom – small, poorly lit, and creaky furniture-strewn with wires and packed with machines. The jury box was cramped with computer monitors wedged into the traditional jury box, one for every two jurors. Scholfield’s side, which fully used the court’s technology, won the case on every count. Schofield talked to about six jury members after the trial who said they were enthusiastic about the technology. Basically, the computer monitors and other visuals kept them awake and focused on the evidence. It didn’t hurt being well-prepared for the trial either.

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