Trial graphics have been part of courtroom presentation for decades, but in the last twenty years they have undergone a rapid transformation. Gone are the days of presentation posterboard and overhead projectors: now trial graphics are created by skilled graphic artists on powerful computers. Instead of limited options, lawyers now face the struggle of nearly unlimited options. While it is true that words carry more of an impact when combined with powerful visuals, it is also possible to create visuals that distract jurors from your point.
So how can you be sure your legal graphics are helping support your case and boost juror retention of facts, rather than turning your presentation into a circus?
Presentation Tips from the Trial Graphics Experts
Keep the tone of the case in mind – While humor and lightness can help you build a rapport with jurors, it can also alienate them if used inappropriately. For example, a case involving a tragic death should be approached with somberness. Attempts at humor could be viewed as disrespectful by the jury.
Choose substance over flair – Instead of giving jurors the old razzle dazzle, give them something they can actually sink their teeth into. Anything that distracts jurors from your point is working against you, whether it’s sound effects, excessive detail, or overly-complex animation. A solid legal graphic that accurately depicts an element of your case will stick in jurors minds, without the need to throw pixie dust in their eyes.
Have a solid foundation for your demonstratives – It’s important for jurors to understand that your trial graphic is grounded in reality. Legal graphics, especially animations, should be developed with input from an expert. If you will be using an expert witness, letting the jury know the expert was involved in the development of the trial graphic will help establish its credibility. Expert input is also crucial to having your demonstratives admitted to the courtroom.
Make sure your legal graphics have a clear purpose – Never use a trial graphic simply because you like it or think it has a good “wow” factor. Legal graphics should always be incorporated into your presentation and support a key element of your case. Otherwise the graphic can seem like a non sequitur at best or a school “show and tell” at worst.
Repetition, repetition, repetition – Well-crafted visuals should be powerful yet unobtrusive. This way they can be used over and over to reinforce the key elements of your case without boring, distracting, or annoying the jury.
Precise: Helping You Create Powerful, Effective Legal Graphics
When used correctly, trial graphics help turn complex facts and ideas into easily comprehended and retained information. Precise has been providing state-of-the-art trial graphics to litigators for the last 17 years. For more information on our services, call us today at 866-277-3247.