Skype-logoThe New York Post recently reported on a technological innovation that could radically change trial cases in the future.

In the story “Facts can’t es-Skype” (Julia Dahl, 9/25), the Post described how a Queens judge used the Internet service Skype to resolve a civil trial.

Skype, in case you haven’t tried or heard of it, is a program that will allow you to make free phone calls over the Internet. With a Web cam (a fixture of most laptops now) you can not only hear but also see the person you are talking to.

“No more wasting time. All we need is a Web cam and Skype,” Queens Supreme Court Justice Martin Ritholtz said. “It’s so easy technologically.”

The plaintiff in the case, 53-year-old Jasmer Singh, now lives in India. But in 2001, he was injured in a car accident in New York City, and he was seeking money from Allstate to cover his medical expenses.

By using Skype to take his testimony, the judge saved everyone involved lots of time, aggravation and money. A win for all around, but probably felt the most by Singh, who was awarded $15,000 for pain and suffering.

The news story said this was probably the first use of Skype to resolve a court case in this country. It won’t be the last, I’m sure.

Thanks for reading,
Jim
_________________________________________
James B. Reed, Esq.
Personal Injury & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
mailto:jreed@zifflaw.com http://www.zifflaw.com

Facts can’t es-Skype

Last Updated: 5:14 AM, September 25, 2009

Posted: 4:57 AM, September 25, 2009

Justice really knows no bounds anymore.

A Queens judge solved the problem of a civil trial that involved a plaintiff in India by simply having the man testify yesterday using the Internet telephone/video provider Skype, saving thousands in costs and days of people’s time.

The testimony is believed to be the first of its kind in New York State, and perhaps the country.

“No more wasting time. All we need is a Web cam and Skype,” Queens Supreme Court Justice Martin Ritholtz said. “It’s so easy technologically.”

A few glitches in the video feed aside, Jasmer Singh, 53, was able to testify about a 2001 auto accident in which he was seeking more money from Allstate to cover medical expenses from a computer store in Punjab Province in India.

“It is a terrific system,” Singh’s lawyer, Jonathan Davis said. “It’s almost like he’s here in the courtroom.”

But because of the timely testimony, the jury was able to rule in a day, awarding Singh $15,000 for pain and suffering. He had been seeking as much as $120,000.

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