When taking technology into the courtroom don’t overlook the importance of preparing your trial laptop. It’s almost as important as preparing your exhibits, after all if your laptop doesn’t behave properly, your presentation might not go well.
Above all else, we want our trial laptops to be stable.
Check your power settings: we don’t want our laptops going to sleep or hibernating after 10 minutes of no activity, and we especially don’t want to be forced to log back in after waking it up. No interruptions. Stability.
Check your antivirus scan schedule: while virus scanning is imperative, it can use a lot of computer resources and slow your machine down. We don’t want our laptops to be clumsy during trial. Set your virus scan schedule to kick off after hours. Stability
Updates: pause updates a week or so prior to trial and don’t resume them until after trial has concluded. Updates can sometimes cause instability and every now and then will cause a program not to work at all. Its always better to tackle these potential issues with plenty of time to troubleshoot before or after trial. Remember….we’re striving for stability.
Work locally and if you’re using a domain log-in, be sure it will work outside of your domain: we’ve seen many people try to log in to their work environment from the courtroom with choppy WiFi and they are unsuccessful. “My files are on our work network” is something you never want to hear in court. Make a complete local copy of all trial material, even if you don’t think you’ll need everything. Better to have and not need than need and not have.
Check windows error reports: take a peek at your windows logs to make sure nothing major is going on that might impact your laptop during trial.
Always be certain that your laptop meets the software system requirements: this might seem like a given, but if you install new software make sure your machine meets or exceeds software system requirements.
Hope these simple suggestions help. If your unsure how to implement the above, your IT folks should have no trouble.