October 15, 2018 Practice Points

Five Key Principles in Effective Trial Graphics

How to grab the jury’s attention

by Katie L. Dysart and Michael W. Young

As technology advances, so do juror expectations. Gone are the days where a whiteboard and a few blown up photographs were sufficient for one’s closing argument. With each update on an iPhone or Android, fact-finder expectations evolve and it is up to the practitioner to evolve with those expectations.

This new dynamic, however, should be viewed as an opportunity, not an obligation. The world has opened for the creative trial attorney to leverage available technology in preparing demonstratives that tell a story and convince a fact-finder.

Budget for Clean and Creative Design

It is critical to plan and budget for the use of creative demonstratives. Although technologically driven demonstratives are not prohibitively expensive, they do cost money. Many experts are now adept at creating technologically advanced demonstratives, such as accident reconstructions, and where an expert is not as familiar, services are willing and able to fill the gap. Critically, if there is no budget for clean demonstratives, then do not use them. A case can be fatally harmed by use of an unclear or overly rudimentary demonstrative.

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