Published in December 2005

Columbus Legal
By Shonan Noronha

Customized AV systems enhance Jones Day’s legal prowess.


The Divisible Room is extremely versatile and features two independent rack-mountable audio systems.

     Jones Day is a major international law firm with more than 2200 lawyers in 30 offices around the world. The firm’s Columbus OH practice has seen significant growth during the last few years, resulting in the need for more office space and enhanced communication systems for its more than 100 lawyers and their support staff. As a result, the firm moved its offices to a new building in the famed Arena District in downtown Columbus, and launched an ambitious program to deploy state-of-the-art AV and videoconferencing systems.
     In addition to the intellectual prowess of its lawyers, Jones Day’s ongoing investment in the latest communication and computer technology is cited frequently as a contributing factor to its rapid growth. “We have a firm-wide commitment to staying ahead of the curve with regard to investment in technology that enables us to deliver efficient and effective service to our clients,” said Fordham Huffman, managing partner in Columbus.
     Prior to occupying three floors in the new office building, the firm commissioned award-winning Washington DC architect Lehman-Smith+McLeish to design the space. It also engaged CMS, a well-established New York IT/AV consultancy, to design sophisticated audiovisual systems to be installed in 13 meeting rooms. Jones Day awarded the approximately $600,000 AV integration contract to Industrial Video Corporation (IVC) in Columbus.
     The new facility includes a boardroom with comprehensive presentation and videoconferencing systems; a videoconferencing (VC) room with two 50-inch plasma screens; a divisible room that can be set up as two independent conference rooms, each with LCD projection; two large conference rooms with LCD projection; six smaller conference rooms, each with a 50-inch plasma display; and one small training room with 12 computer desks. A major challenge, especially in the conference rooms with multiple input devices (computer, DVD, VCR, cable TV), was the design and programming of efficient computerized control systems.

Meeting Challenges
     A project of this size and scope calls for expertise, experience, superb coordination and timely communication between several companies. “There are always challenges, particularly when sophisticated audio, video and control systems are being installed in new construction,” said Terry Sowers, IVC’s account executive who had oversight responsibility for the flow of information between the architect and design firms, general contractor, client representatives, equipment manufacturers, and IVC’s design and installation team.
    "From mounting the Sony projectors on motorized lifts and fitting the NEC 50-inch plasma displays with custom metal frames into recessed walls, to designing and programming a highly customized AMX control system—all aspects of the project brought to bear the skills and experience of our engineers and technicians,” noted Sowers.
      The project was on a tight schedule, with only three months between the awarding of the contract and start of installation, and just one month to complete the installation. It was important to stay on schedule because, once the client moved into the building, work hours would shift to a start time of 8:00 pm (because lawyers don’t keep bankers’ hours!). Sowers reported that the installation, for the most part, was completed before the client moved in, and only on a couple of occasions did the team have to work after-hours. “Because the AV portion of the project had to be coordinated with the installation of lighting and window shades, after-hours work became necessary due to the late delivery of the window shades and similar factors,” Sowers explained.
     But with the singular goal to deliver a great job, on schedule and within budget, the general contractor, Messer Construction, and Industrial Video, demonstrated the flexibility and understanding necessary for completion.
     In developing and deploying the law firm’s AV solution, the highest priority was given to ease-of-use and capabilities that would be particularly helpful to busy legal professionals.


The headquarters building housing Jones Day’s Columbus OH law practice.

Counsel Conferencing
     The firm’s investment in customized AV systems, with videoconferencing capability in both the boardroom and videoconferencing (VC) room, has resulted in increased usage among a larger number of attorneys. “We do a fair amount of presentations within our firm at various locations, both to our own lawyers and staff, as well as to clients and other audiences,” reported Huffman. “For the type of work we do, namely litigation and transaction, it was important for us to have videoconferencing capabilities. It also enables our litigators to do video depositions.”
     An increase in client requests for VC-based meetings has also driven use of this technology at Jones Day in Columbus and other cities. Huffman noted that, in today’s world, opposing counsel is also becoming more comfortable with remote VC meetings. “And as the hassle of airline travel and expense goes up, video meetings become much more desirable,” he said.
     According to Joseph Sabol, firm-wide director of production services, “We have doubled the VC capability in our new offices in Columbus.” Sabol noted that, previously, the Columbus office had only one rollabout system. “VC is now used for all kinds of meetings, as well as some training. For example, many of our new lawyers at various locations use our video-conferencing systems to connect with Cleveland for the legal writing program.”
     Audio conferencing capability is provided in every one of the new conference rooms. “There are certain practices, such as corporate and bankruptcy, that use audio conferencing daily,” Huffman said.
     In the boardroom and videoconferencing room, the combination of Polycom’s VSX-8000 codecs with ClearOne’s XAP-800 audio processor and XAP-TH2 phone hybrid provide maximum flexibility and audio quality for important meetings. Despite the formidable presentation and confer- encing “horsepower under the hood,” including Extron DVS-204 scalers in three rooms, the carefully tailored AMX GUIs made it easy for users to focus on their legal work rather than on the technology.
     This ease-of-use with presentation and multipoint videoconferencing technologies was what influenced the design and implementation of the AV system. From the placement of the cameras and playback devices to the design of the touchpanel user interface, Industrial Video’s goal was to make the technology accessible to non-technical staff.

The customized AV systems with videoconferencing capability have resulted in increased usage among the attorneys.


Changing Orders

     Virtually every new construction AV system evolves somewhat during integration. IVC’s Sowers said that, although some changes to the original equipment spec were based on user-preference, others were due to factors such as the actual size of furniture upon delivery, or location of electrical outlets.
     One example of this process involved the boardroom table. “Upon delivery of the marble boardroom table, the client realized that the table was too wide [seven feet wide by 22 feet long] for users to easily reach conventionally located connectors for laptop computers,” reported Mick Giere, IVC’s onsite project manager. The boardroom table was retro fitted with a custom designed riser, about 20 inches wide by 19 feet long. “The riser provided connections for laptop computers along the sides and for the microphones on the top.”
     This also made it necessary to change the selection of microphones. The original spec had called for several single-element gooseneck mics to be mounted in pre-drilled holes in the table. “We selected Clock Audio mics that contain two or three pickup elements in a single casing. This solved the problem of getting good audio pickup, without having to put mics all over the table,” said Giere, noting that, “the pre-drilled holes were covered with chrome caps to maintain the stylized look of the table.”

Users First
     Ease-of-use was the key factor considered in designing a control system interface that best fit the law firm’s work-style. “Most multimedia systems that I have programmed for legal professionals were designed so the system is set up and controlled by a technical employee of the company,” noted Tracy Brletich, IVC manager of Design & Control Services. “For the Jones Day project, we attempted to make the presenter controls very basic and self-explanatory. This allows individual users to concentrate on their presentation, not the AV system. AMX touchpanel layouts were designed mostly with text buttons and very little icon usage so as not to have users guessing as to what the icons meant.” Easy-to-read, custom graphics of table and room layouts were also created using Photoshop and Auto- CAD to help users quickly locate devices and identify which ones were in use.
     User preference played a major role in programming the control panel for the various devices (DVD, VCR, cable TV, hard disk drive) in the boardroom. Although the Panasonic DMR-T6070 DVD recorder, with a built-in hard drive, could have been used for both recording and playback, one unit was dedicated for recording, and an additional DVD was used for presentations and playback. “Many factors have to be considered when programming a system that has to be used for both presentation and videocon- ferencing. It is much more difficult to configure a system using the same DVD deck for playback and recording, especially a deck with advanced menu functions,” explained Brletich.
     The Divisible Room was a big challenge from a control standpoint, in that there is no fixed placement of tables and chairs, etc. The layout of the room(s) is subject to change daily, depending on table placement. “The only thing that is fixed is the equipment in the racks,” reported Brletich. “The 16 microphones per room [a total of 32] are on snakes that plug into various floor boxes, depending on how the tables are arranged. The challenge was in programming the Clear- One audio system to accept any mic connection layout, whether the rooms are combined into one room or used independent of each other.”
     The Divisible Room has two independent rack-mountable audio systems. Brletich programmed the control systems to communicate with each other, so they could be used in a combined or separate mode. “The user can also select which floor box they want to connect a computer to, for presentations,” said Brletich, noting that, “either room can also be used independently for presentations.” These two rooms are the only rooms that have multiple systems that communicate with each other over Ethernet.
     Ten of the 13 rooms required computerized control systems. Jones Day has standardized on AMX control systems. “For this project, the advantages in using AMX were the graphical and animation effect capabilities of the Modero touchpanels,” noted Brletich. “In my experience, users want to have an intuitive control panel that performs the desired functions without concern for the internal, behind-the-scenes processing. Although this project did not make heavy use of button icons, features such as opacity and page effects allow for a smooth interface.”
     Minor modifications were made to the touchpanel programming based on user preference. In the Divisible Room, for example, the AMX touch- panels can be used at any of three floor box locations in each room, which yields a capability of six possible points in a combined room. The graphic showing the actual layout of the floor boxes in the room was changed from the viewer’s perspective to the primary speaker’s perspective.



Everybody Loves VC
     The availability of user-friendly in-house presentation and conferencing facilities, especially VC, has Jones Day lawyers in Columbus using the system frequently to communicate with outside counsel. “It’s great and a lot of fun to have all this technology at our disposal,” said managing partner Huffman. “It’s easy enough to learn how to use the system, so there was no need to persuade or ‘sell’ our lawyers on the use of it.”
     Huffman told of a recent trial on an accounting malpractice case in which Jones Day represented the plaintiff, the receiver of an insolvent insurance company: “We had weekly videocon- ferences involving lawyers from two of our offices, as well as a law firm in Newark NJ, to sort out issues and make certain that we were on track with the tasks at hand. We used these weekly videoconferences for six months leading up to the trial, and it was an effective way to talk through the presentation and ensure that we were approaching the trial in the same way.”
     The firm’s initiative to upgrade and deploy the latest in audiovisual and presentation technology has enabled Jones Day to exceed its clients’ expectations of delivery and service—and this impressive level of service has been widely recognized. As we go to press, Jones Day has once again topped the BTI Consulting Group’s national Survey of Client Service Performance for Law Firms, by corporate counsel at Fortune 1000 companies and large organizations. This year, Jones Day will be honored as a member of the BTI Client Service Hall of Fame.


Jones Day legal assistant Julia Newhard operates the videoconferencing equipment.

Industrial Video Corp.
Founded in 1968 by Jim Blair, Industrial Video Corporation (IVC) in Cleveland OH is a full-service systems integrator with a staff of 40, and divisional offices in Cincinnati and Columbus. “We provide comprehensive support before and after purchase, including end-user training,” said president/CEO Nellie Blair. “We represent more than 150 equipment and accessory manufacturers, and this enables us to offer our clients a wide range of solutions at very competitive prices.”
IVC has designed and installed multimedia presentation and videocon- ferencing systems at numerous executive boardrooms, auditoriums and classrooms. Its corporate work includes the executive boardroom at Seaman’s Wooster OH location and conferencing rooms at Squire Sanders’ headquarters in Cleveland. Among IVC’s institutional clients are NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Brookpark OH, Akron Children’s Hospital and Bowling Green State University.
“We require all of our technical staff, which comprises 75% of the company,
to earn technology certification such as CTS from [InfoComm International] within 90 days of joining the company,” noted Blair. “It enables us to fine-tune our AV support services and assures clients of our professional capabilities.”
For more information, go to www.ivideo.com.


Equipment
Boardroom
1 AMX NI-3000 NetLinx integrated controller
1 AMX 12" NXT-CV12 Modero touchpanel
1 ClearOne XAP-800 8-Channel AEC mic mixer
1 ClearOne XAP-TH2 telephone hybrid w/telco noise canc
4 Clock Audio dual-element boundary layer mics w/half cardioid polar pattern.
2 Clock AUDIO tri-element boundary layer mics w/half cardioid polar pattern.
1 Crown CTS 4200 4-channel program amp w/rack mount
1 ETA PD12IB surge protector
1 Extron SW4 RGBHV switcher
1 Extron 128HVA router
1 Extron MDA-3AV dist. amp
   Extron DVS-204 scalers
   Extron interfaces, cables, accessories
8 JBL Control 24CT ceiling speakers
1 Middle Atlantic MRK-4426 rack
1 Panasonic DMR-T6070 DVD player/recorder
1 Polycom VSX800 codec IP
1 Shure MX418SC lectern mic
1 Sony SVL-N900 VHS player
1 Sony VPL-FX51 LCD projector
1 Sony EVI-D70 ceiling-mounted camera
1 Sony/Polycom EVI-D100 camera
1 Stewart custom 84" RP system
1 Van San 1700 custom President series lectern
1 Zenith L15V24S 15" HD LCD monitor

Divisible Room
2 AMX NI-3000 NetLinx integrated controllers
2 AMX 12" NXT-CV12 Modero touchpanels
20 Audio-Technica AT891R mics
2 Audio-Technica AEW-5315D receiver/transmitters
2 Audio-Technica AT-831cW lav mics
2 Biamp MCA8050 8-channel program amps
2 Chief RPA005 ceiling mounts
6 ClearOne XAP-800 8-channel AEC mic mixers
2 ClearOne XAP-TH2 telephone hybrids w/telco noise canc
3 ETA PD12IB surge protectors
6 Extron RGB-478xi interfaces
1 Extron 168HVA Crosspoint Plus matrix switcher
1 Extron 128HVA Crosspoint Plus matrix switcher
1 Extron DA2 RGBHV
1 Extron MDA 3V DA
2 Extron DVS-204 scalers
   Extron cables, accessories
1 Middle Atlantic MRK-4426 rack
2 Sony SVL-N900 ½" VHS videocassette recorders
2 Sony DVP-NC685V DVD players
2 Sony VPL-FX51 LCD projectors
1 Van San 1700 custom series lectern
1 Zenith L15V24S 15" HD LCD monitor

Videoconference Room
1 AMX NI-3000 NetLinx integrated controller
1 AMX 12" NXT-CV12 Modero touchpanel
2 Chief PWS-2042 swing-out-arm mounts
1 ClearOne XAP-800 8-channel AEC mic mixer
1 ClearOne XAP-TH2 telephone hybrid w/telco noise canc.
1 Clock Audio CS-2 dual element boundary layer mic w/half cardioid polar pattern
2 Clock Audio CS-3 Tri-element boundary layer mics w/half cardioid polar pattern
1 Crown D75A 2-channel program amp w/rack mount
1 ETA PD12IB surge suppressor
   Extron computer interfaces
   Extron cables, accessories
1 Extron under-table mount
1 Extron video/audio system switcher, 12x8
2 Middle Atlantic BRK-12 equipment cabinets
2 NEC PX-50XM4A 50" video/data plasma displays
4 NEC PX-50SP1U side speakers
1 Panasonic DMR-T6070 DVD player
1 Polycom VXS8000 codec IP
2 Premier PCM-200 wall mounts
1 Sony SVL-N900 1/2" VHS videocassette recorder
1 Sony/Polycom EVI-D100 camera

Training
1 Display Devices 19SL projector adaptor for VPL-PX40
1 ETA PD12IB surge suppressor
   Extron cables, accessoriess
1 Extron System 5 RGBHV/video/audio system switcher, 5x1
6 JBL 24C ceiling-mounted speakers
1 Middle Atlantic BRK-12 equipment cabinet
1 Sony SVL-N900 ½" VHS videocassette recorder
1 Sony DVP-NS725P DVD player
1 Sony VPL-PX40 video projector

Type B Conference Room
1 AMX NI-2000 NetLinx integrated controller
1 AMX 8.4" MVP-8400 Modero ViewPoint touchpanel
1 Chief PDS-2042 dual swing-out-arm mount bracket
1 ETA PD12IB surge suppressor
1 Extron RGB-202Rxi computer Interface
1 Extron cables, accessories
1 Extron System 5 RGBHV/video/audio system switcher, 5x1 video/RGBHV
1 Extron MDA 3A audio distribution amp
2 Middle Atlantic BRK-8 equipment cabinets
1 NEC PX-50XM4A 50" video/data plasma display
2 NEC PX-50SP1U side speakers
1 Polycom audio conference tabletop unit w/2 mics
1 Premier PCM 200 wall-mount bracket
1 Sony SVL-N900 1/2" VHS videocassette recorder
1 Sony DVP-NS725P DVD player

Type A Conference Rooms
1 Display Devices 19SL projector adapter
1 ETA PD12IB surge protector
2 Extron RGB-201Rxi computer interfaces
2 Extron cables, accessories
1 Middle Atlantic BRK8 rack
1 Polycom Premier EX audio conference
tabletop unit w/extension mics
1 Sony VPL-PX40 LCD projector
1 TOA A901A 70V audio power amp



List is edited from information supplied by Industrial Video Corporation.



Shonan Noronha, EdD, an independent writer/producer and training consultant, is the author of three books and numerous articles about television, AV, multimedia and music. Send comments to her at shonan@bestweb.net.

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