Most litigators find the written word just isn’t enough when it comes to really understanding what transpires in the courtroom.
How the expert witness physically responds to a question – do they look anxious, upset, or uncomfortable while providing their testimony – is the difference between an honest expert and someone who is being paid to support the case to the watchful eyes of a jury.
In an interview with Tim Nixon, director of Litigation Content Operations at West, part of Thomson Reuters, we discussed how the new capability of viewing court transcripts – via the on-demand streaming video through Westlaw Court Transcripts – is a critical step in preparing for court.
Watch a portion of our interview with Nixon to better understand how Westlaw Court Transcripts works:
“The words can all be spot on, but if a witness’s body says I’m really uncomfortable with my position, the expert can immediately undermine a case,” says Nixon.
The video features on Westlaw Court Transcripts can be the difference between success and failure when used as a vetting tool for selecting witnesses, and it can also serve as a critical learning tool for new litigators.
It is also important to see how the courtroom is handled – how the judge enables the litigators to present their case, or if he or she possibly impedes the normal flow of the courtroom, Nixon says.
Is the judge one who is sitting forward and truly engaged or sitting back and viewing the case? Does the tone of their voice or facial expression lend you to believe they are upset with an approach or comfortable with the way the case is presented?
These are key to understanding the courtroom dynamic and determining a best approach for a specific judge.
“Seeing the court transcript fully synched and side-by-side with video, where you can click on the court transcript and immediately see what is transcribed, is really critical from both a vetting and a time-and-billing perspective,” says Nixon.
Westlaw subscribers can see the latest courtroom video additions, here.
Posted by Gretchen DeSutter, senior communications specialist, Thomson Reuters
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