Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Gatekeepers of Power

Having worked the technology several high value trials I have learned to make friends of some key personnel. It is inevitable that while in trial you are in need of help for the emergency that is and will happen. From getting more time in the courtroom, getting a private corner at a restaurant, getting some fixtures/tables added to the hotel room and of course the security guards at court.

When we go to trial we usually get assigned to long cause departments and they are in Downtown LA at Stanley Mosk Superior Court. We do the full nine yards when it comes to the tech in the courtroom. Sooo.. first is getting all that stuff into the department. I like to go with our attorneys to some of the final appearance before the trial date to just be present in front of Clerk and the Judge and also to get a layout of the court room so I can visualize the layout.

Get to know the courtroom attendant and the clerk use their names in the morning. I offer them to bring in their Starbucks order in the morning. This has paid off so many times. I have been given access to work space with power and the ability to setup my equipment and they have relayed to the judge how much time I would need to set and they just make your life easier when they are your friend. Just remember to pack up quickly at end of day they cant leave till you do.

The security guards at the front of the courthouse are also crucial. when you are prepared to just put one bag into the conveyor belt to get X-rayed and not empty the 20 things you have in your pocket including that belt of yours that sets off the metal detectors. Smile at them and when you pass through the magical portal everyday for 2 weeks the day you are running late and need to zip past the n00bs that do not have there junk ready they have let me get to the front of the line (I have even been allowed to get the occasional scissors in).

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Now you got an hour and half to prepare your next witness and to get your thoughts together to wrap up with your biomechanics expert. you wanna show them exhibits, not have both of them at the same table an be able to talk openly with out eavesdroppers. All of these and still eat lunch that will not give you that crash feeling at 3:00 in front of the jury. And in downtown Kendall's is always full. I get to know the wait staff and the hostess. They get us ready to have some privacy and the sufficient amount of tables to be able to bounce from tables so I can prep the next exhibits and also show new ones to counsel on my iPad.

Lets not forget we need a place to sleep and a war room (no commuting for us during trial). I usually ask for a suite and one cleared out and set up with tables, extension cords for all my equipment and some extra chairs. and a low price since we get multiple rooms and keep the war room for the weekends so we don't have to lug our stuff with us. They can also find you great places to eat and a place to store some of your bigger exhibits.

So remember be nice and smile and make some friends. The world is still a good place. but don't get in my way! Who do you guys rub shoulders with that makes your job easier??

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