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Does Your Law Office Need a 3D Printer?

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By George Khoury, Esq. on July 25, 2018 6:56 AM

For lawyer-techies, trying to think up an excuse to buy a 3D printer for the law office isn't easy. After all, nearly anything you'd do with it for a case can be done, and would likely still require, using third party services. Even if you get expertly skilled with it, judges aren't likely to just let a 3D printed object into evidence without an expert (unless you can get your adversary to stipulate, maybe).

So, clearly, the answer of whether it's needed is a resounding no. However, that doesn't mean a 3D printer can't (eventually) be a pragmatic purchase if it's something that you want. Depending on your practice area(s), a 3D printer of your own could be rather useful, help get you some good verdicts, and might even save you money in the long run if using 3D printed objects in your practice becomes a regular thing. Below, you can find examples of items your law office might want to 3D print.

Crime Scene Models

One of the best uses for a 3D printer involves criminal defense. Recently, a criminal defense attorney defending an individual on murder charges had the scene of the murder, a labyrinth-like house, 3D printed so that he could help the jury visualize the allegations. That attorney won his case.

Injury Reconstruction

Sometimes injury photos are really gruesome. Also, sometimes, injury photos don't accurately depict an injury. Complicating matters, showing a jury x-rays or medical imaging can also lead to confusion. However, a 3D printed model can be effectively used to dissect an injury from the natural gut-reaction to recoil in horror.

Product Liability

In a product liability claim, a 3D printer can be used to show potentially non-defective, or non-dangerous, design modifications that could have been made to an allegedly defective or dangerous product. Given that product liability litigation tends to be a "battle of experts," having a 3D printed scale model that a jury can hold and touch could help sway the balance.

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