March 03, 2015 Articles

Five Tips for Developing and Presenting Visuals to Judges and Juries

Forget bullet-point lists. Learn how to really communicate with jurors.

By Jeremy T. Brown

Persuasive trial attorneys do not question whether they should use visuals at trial. They understand that visuals increase jurors’ capacity to comprehend and retain the information presented to them. See Jaihyun Park & Neal Feigenson, 27 Effects of Visual Technology on Mock Juror Decision Making, Appl. Cognit. Psychol. 235–36 (Dec. 6, 2012). And no longer do most trial attorneys forego using modern technology to present their case out of a concern of looking like the “big, bad, rich company” versus the poor, innocent plaintiff. Indeed, they may hope that opposing counsel plays the folksy card and eschews modern technology, because that will only serve to increase their presentation technology's effectiveness. Id. (finding that PowerPoint’s impact on jurors was greatest when its use was unequal among the parties).

Although using visuals to present one’s case is now standard practice, the successful use of visuals varies significantly. If not employed correctly, presenting visuals to a judge or jury can actually detract from one’s message rather than enhance it. To help avoid that at your next trial or hearing, here are some tips for creating and presenting powerful visuals that help you win your case. 

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