When the owner of the Sudduth & Associates law firm in Lake Charles, Louisiana, moved into their brand new headquarters, he wanted to incorporate a multi-purpose boardroom that allowed patrons of the legal community to make presentations, discuss evidence, and conduct depositions. To do just that, he called on North America’s leading commercial AV integrator, Advanced.
After several site-visits, the Advanced team designed a sophisticated yet easy-to-use AV system, complete with automation, videowall displays, video and audio conferencing capabilities, and more. “When Sudduth & Associates approached us, they wanted to be a leader within the community that could demonstrate how AV technology streamlines and enhances operations for law officials, police chiefs, judges, and more,” explained Advanced President David Weatherhead. “Despite several logistical challenges, we were able to exceed their expectations with a system that could be used for many of their legal needs.”
Advanced first collaborated with local technology integration firm Brewster Technologies to install a Crestron control system, which serves as an intuitive means to control all audio and visual components. The system’s parts – including the displays, video processors, microphones, and cameras – are integrated into the control platform so that the user experience is entirely seamless.
To help the Sudduth & Associates’ legal team seamlessly make detailed presentations, Advanced installed two displays in the boardroom: one 2 panel x 4 panel LG 49″ Ultra-Narrow Bezel LED Backlit Display, and one Sharp 60″ AQUOS BOARD Interactive Display with 6-point multi-touch screen edge lit LED backlight.
“The LG display offers a stunning, high resolution picture, which is necessary when closely analyzing images or evidence,” Advanced Senior Account Manager Greg Priest said, “while the interactive Sharp board offers interactive functionality so that lawyers can circle or draw over an illustration if need be.”
Advanced also installed a TVOne videowall processer so that users can toggle between one to multiple sources on the LG display with a simple swipe on a centrally-located 15” Crestron touch panel. When making a presentation, the legal team can showcase a spreadsheet, a video, and a conference call on the same screen in full 4K.
In order to outfit the room for depositions, Advanced installed a cutting-edge conferencing system, with video and audio functionality made possible by multiple Clock Audio Microphones and Lumens and Extron cameras. Twelve of the cameras are fitted with a high brightness LED Halo, which indicates whether a mic is live for total transparency.
A first for Advanced, they also installed a specific area for a court recorder, outfitted with a 22” LG display and a headset that streams audio from the microphones stations throughout the room. “The audio and videoconferencing system is also set up to record content and audio streams to track depositions and statements,” explained Advanced Director of Project Implementation, Systems Integration Scott Wouters. “This is especially important for the legal team when preparing their cases.”
The videoconferencing system also offers wireless connectivity so that anyone can walk into the boardroom with their own device and immediately connect it. “It was of paramount importance for our client that collaboration was not only possible, but extremely easy,” Wouters said. “Anyone in the law or legal community can walk into the boardroom, connect to the WiFi network, and use the system to make a presentation.”
Although system use is easy as could be, the installation was wrought with many challenges – one of them being that Lake Charles, Louisiana received significant damage from Hurricane Harvey that tore through the south in 2017. “Many of the roads were flooded,” Priest said. “Travel to site was near impossible, and we had to pick up again once the surrounding damages were fixed and we were able to get back into the area.”
Despite the three-month delay, the client is ecstatic with the final result. “The practice of law is constantly changing, however the legal field has been one of the slower fields to adopt the technological advancements of the 21st century. I am proud to say that this conference room, which we have nicknamed the ‘Coliseum,’ is a giant leap forward in the practice and evolution of law,” said James E. Sudduth, III, Esq. of Sudduth & Associates. “Gone are the days of depositions via legal pad. This conference room contains technology that is far and away the most advanced of its kind in the country. I truly believe that this conference room will change the way law is viewed and practiced in the Lake Charles area for decades to come and you will see many people begin to follow suit.”
Sudduth continued, “When I began telling the team from Advanced what I wanted to see in this conference room, they looked at me and said, ‘James we have seen this in New York and Los Angeles, but the fact that you want to do this in Lake Charles is awesome!’ I am proud to say with the help of Advanced we have brought the future of the practice of law to Lake Charles, Louisiana.”
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