How 3-D printing can assist in presenting evidence

Advances in 3-D printing techniques have made a splash in the business and academic environments and have been used to create custom parts and models in a wide range of industries. The items produced by 3-D printers have been used to reconstruct fossils, to create prosthetics for patients, to fabricate educational materials, and to produce an impressive list of consumer products. The use of these devices in the legal field, however, has been somewhat limited. Understanding how 3-D printing works can help your legal firm make the most of these new technologies in presenting evidence effectively.

The basics of 3-D printing

Also known as additive printing, 3-D printing techniques create custom objects by building them one layer at a time according to the specifications entered by the computer operator. This contrasts with most other methods of fabrication, which typically involve shaping of or subtraction from materials to create the finished item. Top-end 3-D printers offer exceptional accuracy and precision to allow the production of extremely small parts for industrial or medical use. The precise results provided by 3-D printing techniques have also been used to recreate forensic evidence to assist law enforcement officials in investigating crimes.

3-D in the courtroom setting

Some companies are now offering 3-D services to legal practices to assist in the presentation of evidence in the courtroom setting. By creating models of critical exhibits, attorneys can clearly demonstrate various injuries and other critical elements of their cases:

  • Broken bones can be accurately reproduced from X-rays to demonstrate the severity of the impact sustained in an auto accident
  • Crime scenes can be reproduced at a smaller scale to reinforce a particular point or perspective
  • Fingerprints can be duplicated and enlarged to show points of comparison

Because 3-D printed items are not actual evidence, they can be safely handled and examined by jurors in the courtroom setting. This can allow a more hands-on approach to evidence presentation while ensuring that jurors have access to the most accurate information on which to base their decisions.

Integrating 3-D presentations into legal cases

In many cases, 3-D models are actually cheaper to produce than comparable computer animations. As 3-D printers and printing services continue to go down in price, the use of 3-D models in the courtroom is likely to increase. By establishing a relationship with a reliable 3-D reconstruction firm early on, legal firms can ensure access to these valuable evidence presentation tools and can make a positive impact on jurors. This can establish your firm as a leading resource for top quality representation and can ensure the best possible outcomes for your clients.

New technologies are revolutionizing the way legal firms like yours do business in the courtroom and in the office environment. Remote depositions, iPad projections, and 3-D models can help you to deliver the most effective arguments on behalf of your clients. By staying on the cutting edge of these advances, you can ensure that your presentations make the right impression on every member of the jury.

 

The value of tech training for your legal staff

Modern software platforms can streamline your legal processes and provide your staff with added collaboration tools. Proper training in these new technologies is essential to ensure the most effective deployment of cloud storage platforms, video conferencing services, remote depositions, and collaboration software suites in your workplace. By investing in training for your staff, you can reduce their learning curve and ensure the most positive results for your software implementations.

Different learning styles

Allowing for differences in how the members of your legal team learn new skills can take some of the stress out of the training process. Some staff members may learn best by doing; by allowing them to test out the new software on their own, these tech-savvy staffers may be able to master these technologies more quickly. Others may require visual aids like videos or flowcharts to make sense of the new software platform. In-depth documentation should be provided for all members of your legal team as a reference and guide to more complex processes and functions.

A relatively small investment in training can pay off in improved morale, increased productivity and greater employee engagement with the learning process. By putting new software tools to work in your office, you can enjoy the benefits of today’s technological age.

 

5 techy tips for managing security in the office

For many attorneys, the availability of new technologies has led to increased digitization and online storage of documents and data related to past and current cases. These advances can allow members of the legal team to access information remotely to allow anytime, anywhere editing and updating of critical information. Implementation of cloud computing strategies and centralized data storage requires added attention to security for sensitive client information. Here are five helpful tips for protecting legal data in the modern computing marketplace.

Engage your employees

An important first step in establishing best security practices for your legal practice is to bring your staff members on board with your new policies. Explaining in clear and simple language the steps required of your legal team and the reasons behind these security measures can increase staff buy-in and can ensure the most positive results for your practice. By presenting the same information in printed form, you can reduce the risk of errors by your valued legal team.

Prioritize your data

Not all data is created equal. Determining the most critical information and making arrangements to protect and back up this data can help you manage the next steps of your security implementation more effectively.

Create tiered levels of access

Maintaining certain information on a need-to-know basis can help your legal practice protect sensitive client information from unauthorized access or accidental disclosure. By creating tiers of access within your organization to provide added control over your data, you can reduce the risks to your clients and the potential legal liabilities for your law office.

Evaluate your cloud services provider

If you choose to store case information with a third-party cloud services provider, it is critically important to read the fine print regarding how your data will be protected in various scenarios, including the following:

  • What happens to your data if the cloud services provider is forced to shut down for financial or other reasons?
  • Who has access to your data at the remote location?
  • Will your data be stored alongside that of other clients or on a separate server?
  • How is your information protected against unauthorized access from outside and inside the provider offices?
  • Are redundancies and backups in place to ensure the integrity of your data even if a specific server is corrupted or fails altogether?

Ensuring continuous access to and protection for information stored in the cloud is essential for your overall data security plan.

Seek professional help

The intricacies of encryption can be challenging even for the most computer-savvy individuals. By working with a professional firm to manage and oversee your data security needs, you can often achieve better results and increased safety for sensitive client information.

These five steps can form the foundation of a solid security strategy for your practice and can ensure that you stay on the right side of confidentiality requirements and protection of your legal data.

 

How cloud storage can streamline required disclosures

Cloud storage solutions are becoming more and more prevalent in the business community. In the legal field, allowing secure login access to specific documents in the cloud can actually speed the delivery of relevant documents to opposing counsel and can ensure full compliance with all regulations pertaining to both the sharing of information and the securing of that same information against unauthorized access.

Tiered levels of access

Depositions are a good example of documentation that must typically be shared among all members of a legal team. Attorneys may also be required to share this information with their counterparts on the other side of the case. By creating tiered access to the specific documents and evidence that pertain to a particular court case, legal professionals can eliminate tedious copying duties and can reduce the effort involved in delivering these materials directly to the opposing counsel.

Along with the improvements to disclosure procedures, cloud storage solutions can allow improved collaboration among the members of your legal team. Modern software platforms allow tracking of all changes and edits to case documentation for greater accountability and accuracy. In this way, these advanced software suites can boost productivity during the critical lead-up to the big day in court.