Does Technology Help or Hurt In Courtroom Cases?
In today’s world, you may wonder if technology helps or hurts in courtroom cases. Unfortunately, the answer to that inquiry is complicated. Depending on very specific contextual clues, it almost always ends up being answered as “it depends.”
There are different kinds of technology that you can use either to your advantage or the disadvantage of the people on the other side of the courtroom. Then there is the matter of the jury understanding the technology available, and then further how well the judges and lawyers present the data behind technological use.
Think of a few situations where the level of technology makes a difference in a court case. Perhaps the criminal defense team is using information technology to their benefit. Maybe you are suing someone based on digital evidence that you’ve gathered.
Ultimately, the trouble with a lot of these instances is the fact that there is no legal precedent for claiming that a particular method will either be successful or unsuccessful based on legislature or previous cases.
Criminal Defense Using IT
If a criminal defense team is using information technology to its advantage, you aren’t guaranteed a benefit. As an example, in a fraud case, perhaps the lawyer of the defendant is trying to utilize hard drives, email messages, or digitally encrypted data as a way to present their information.
If there is no way to recognize that these primary data sources are valid, then what is a jury supposed to do? Virtual data may be anecdotal, but it can be challenging to prove that a client is not guilty of a crime based on this intangible evidence.
Suing Someone Based On Digital Evidence
On the other end of a court case, perhaps you are trying to sue someone based on digital evidence that you have. As an example, maybe someone stole something off of your front porch. You have captured the theft on video from your security camera. But, is that security camera footage accepted in a court case?
How do people know it’s not doctored? How do they know the timestamps that you’ve provided are legitimate? These are tough questions that need to be answered before you know you have a rock-solid case.
The Trouble with Legal Precedent
One of the things about new technology that makes court cases difficult is that there may not be a legislative process in place or precedent to look at by the time something gets to court. If no case has ever been tried about injuries caused by drones, then how is a lawyer supposed to say how the case should be ruled?
If injury, damage, or harm is caused by brand-new technology, the lawmaking system needs to catch up before people can be confident of compensation and lawsuits.