Presenting Portal Technology: Case Studies
A Portal Presentation for an Entire Case
Generally speaking, multi-faceted cases with an abundance of raw materials (and plenty of time to prepare them) benefit most from Portal Technology. In one of our favorite examples, our client was representing International Paper, whose hardboard siding building material had been found to be defective. International Paper, in turn, was trying to get its insured to defend and indemnify it against the damages that arose out of the national class action suit. The attorney wanted a central graphic platform on which he could display all his evidence, from his opening statement, through expert witness testimony, to his closing argument. So we used Portal Technology to create a 3-D graphic of a house that rotated so the jurors could see the front and the back, with “hotspots” that linked to an index of photographs, videotaped depositions, documents, animations, and charts to which the attorney and witnesses could refer to during the trial.
For instance, if the lawyer was ready to talk about window construction, he could rotate the house to show a window, click on the hotspot that linked to window evidence, and then access any or all of the exhibits needed at that point in the trial. This organizational platform allowed the lawyer to tell a coherent story, in a way that engaged and educated both the judge and jury.
The jury returned a $383 million verdict in favor of International Paper and its subsidiary Masonite, finding that multiple insurance companies had breached their policies and had failed to indemnify International Paper for a major class action settlement.
A Portal Platform for a Motion
Portal Technology can also be effective for a motion in a complex matter. In a groundwater contamination case that had several hundred plaintiffs, for instance, we created a portal for a motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations. Using a timeline to organize the material by date, we included evidence (such as newspaper articles and sign-in sheets for public meetings), case law excerpts, and lists of plaintiffs according to the date they joined the complaint. The resulting portal made it abundantly clear that the plaintiffs had joined the case too late and their cases should be dismissed.
The court dismissed the vast majority of the plaintiffs.
Portal Technology has many uses and we have only mentioned two specific examples. Portal Technology can be used for tutorials with voiceover capabilities, can be given to a judge to watch and replay areas of interest, and can include reference materials, like citations, that can be easily accessed.