In legal news, Westlaw is seeking video recordings of trials and hearings.

This will have a huge impact on the future of legal research.  Judges and attorneys will be able to use the video for different purposes.

I’m especially interested in the impact this will have on expert witness vetting.  The news release succinctly discusses the advantages for attorneys.

For lawyers, the advantages include the opportunity to observe the presentations of expert witnesses they’re considering using in their own trials; watch counsel examine and cross-examine witnesses on issues of interest; and learn what happened in the courtroom even when they don’t have a transcript.

The power of Westlaw technology paired with the ability to view video will take the vetting process to a whole new level.  Caution:  expert witness dossier files on Westlaw and Lexis are attractive but expensive, I imagine this will be a primary source that will be attractive to attorneys until the cost is revealed.  In the economic crunch a video of the key expert will be saved for the really big cases, in my opinion.

However, as time goes by and the inital investment of adding the video into the databases is completed, the demand will increase and the basic principles of supply and demand will rule.

Video will play a major role in the future of search.   Is the future of  legal research video?  Probably not completely, but it will be a major part of future innovations.  If you are forward thinking about how to leverage the power of content to better serve your clients and your business, you must take into account video.

Constance Ard March 17, 2009