The Legal Toolbox: How Kassel McVey Uses Technology
At Kassel McVey, we use cutting-edge technology and the latest innovations in research and data collection to provide the best possible representation for our clients. The following is an explanation of some of the things we do:
In the cases we handle, we undertake legal, medical, and engineering research, and consult the most up-to-date databases and other sources information in each of those areas. For example, for legal research, we use:
Westlaw: This is one of the largest online searchable databases of legal trial court and appellate decisions from all jurisdictions across the country. Westlaw also provides access to federal and state statutes, codes, regulations, legal journals, texts, compendiums, and scholarly works. And it helps in locating expert witnesses and in gathering background information on businesses.
Pacer: This is a searchable federal court database of filed civil and criminal actions, and is useful in finding similar cases in products liability actions, for instance.
In our medical research, we use:
Trialsmith: This is a database of expert witnesses and provides access to testimony in previous cases.
UpToDate: This is a subscription service providing short articles on a variety of medical conditions.
Peer reviewed journals and texts: We do internet searches of peer reviewed publications from medical specialty journals in order to obtain the latest scientific findings and opinions on medical conditions and procedures.
As part of our engineering research, we conduct internet searches of data bases of safety and engineering standards.
Among our most helpful and important sources of information are other lawyers and the legal research they have done in the areas we are researching. We also share information with them through a variety of means, including:
State and National Lawyer information list serves, including AAJ and SCAJ list serves. List serves are online bulletin boards where lawyers post questions, exchange information and ideas, and communicate about common issues and concerns. We are members of AAJ (American Association of Justice) a national organization of plaintiff lawyers as well as SCAJ (South Carolina Association of Justice), the state organization.
We also engage in lawyer-to-lawyer collaboration via:
Dropbox: This is a service that allows file sharing with other lawyers to allow collaboration on cases. Dropbox is also used to easily download files, including documents, video and photographs for use on ipads for mediation and trial presentation.
We frequently hold depositions in which we obtain out-of-court testimony from witnesses for later use in court or for discovery purposes. In order to make our deposition process as effective and efficient as possible, we use the following technological innovations:
Videos with in-house editing capability: We conduct important depositions using video. So much of communication is non verbal. A video deposition of an important witness or party may be much more persuasive to a jury than a cold written transcript.
We often use a visual presenter or an “elmo” during the video deposition. This is a device that allows the witnesses to discuss a document or exhibit in a split screen.
Mediation and Courtroom Presentation
In our mediation efforts and courtroom presentations, we make frequent use of a technological innovation called Trialpad or Exhibit A.
Persuasion is not based simply on the spoken word but involves a combination of speaking and visual images. We use software to enable presentations to be made on large screen monitors using Apple TV or a projector to display documents or video or photographs to argue our position. Trialpad or Exhibit A allow us to annotate exhibits with “callouts,” which involve highlightings and markings to clearly explain and persuade (see example below).
Personal Injury Lawyers 1330 Laurel Street Columbia, SC 29201 Phone: 803-256-4242
Post Office Box 1476
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Fax: (803) 256-1952
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