McGlothlin Courtroom

Controlled Studies

CLCT designs and conducts controlled experiments to study how new technologies affect courtroom justice. Since 2002, CLCT’s studies have explored technologies across the courtroom and legal system, including:

  • Testimony: We partnered with the William & Mary Department of Psychology to conduct two experiments comparing remote expert testimony with in-person testimony.
  • Evidence: In partnership with the William & Mary Department of Psychology, we tested different ways of presenting evidence from a wiretapped foreign language conversation in an international drug smuggling case.
  • Deliberation: We completed an 18-month empirical study exploring the effects that new technologies had on jury deliberations.

Laboratory Trials

Since 1995, CLCT has conducted numerous experimental cases to study how modern technology can aid dispute resolution. All of these studies—known as Laboratory Trials—are conducted through case simulations and presided over by a distinguished federal or state judge.

The 2016 Lab Trial experimented with different methods of delivery of interpretation and with the use of tablets. Past Lab Trials have included a simulated multi-continent terrorism case with the world’s first known courtroom use of holographic evidence and virtual reality. In 2013, CLCT’s trial technology was put to the test in a simulated hearing involving U.S. and Canadian officials. The 2010 CLCT Lab Trial focused on fabricated computer evidence, such as emails and computer files. The trial included testimony from two experienced FBI forensic computer experts, multi-media courtroom reporting and remote testimony.

Our Lab Trail experiments are sometimes run in cooperation with international law schools, such as the University of Leeds (United Kingdom), Queensland University of Technology (Australia) and the University of Canberra (Australia). The Federal Judicial Center advises on research and methodology.

Articles & White Papers.McGlothlin Courtroom

Our staff and William & Mary faculty members publish white papers summarizing research findings, commenting on topics of interest to legal and court technology, detailing our consulting work, and advancing our mission of ensuring the efficient administration of justice with appropriate technology. Recent topics have included:

  • Apple TV for Trial Presentation
  • Historic Courthouse Restoration and Technology
  • Secure Internet Connectivity in Courts
  • Use of Technology in the Jury Room

Browse our listing of recent publications for research papers of interest.