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The Litigation Consulting Report

Memorable Markman Exhibits and Patent Litigation Trial Graphics

Posted by Theresa Villanueva on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 @ 05:52 PM

markman hearing graphicsA picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to effective storytelling, no statement more aptly applies.  One of the biggest challenges attorneys have when telling their story is conveying to their audience the complex ideas and legal concepts in their case in a manner in which the information will be understood.  Leading up to trial, an attorney is frequently faced with this question: how do I get my audience to understand information imperative to my case and how do I make it memorable?

One of the key roles an attorney takes on when faced with a legal proceeding is that of a teacher.  One must teach the fact-finders the facts and the laws that apply to the case and why the stated interpretation of the facts and the laws is the correct one.  That is where trial graphics and other trial presentation techniques come in – taking complex case themes and legal concepts and turning them into simplified visual models that are more easily understood and digestible to the average fact finder.

With this requirement of effective communication of case facts being ever present, graphics and animations have become vital tools in the modern litigator’s arsenal.  I dare say there are few attorneys these days that go to court without some type of demonstrative evidence or technology; whether it is graphics or documents loaded into a trial presentation database.

Many areas of law lend themselves particularly well to the use of graphics.  For example, patent litigation virtually requires the inclusion of memorable trial graphics.  The technology in a patent can be (and often is) very complex.  For the non-expert the content is difficult to understand and even more challenging to explain to the average person who may not have a scientific or technical background.  Sometimes the ability to show a process or a function of a patent - how something works -- as opposed to trying to explain it with words and documents – makes the difference between winning and losing.  Such was the case recently where our firm helped a trial team obtain the 6th largest patent verdict in history.

Illustrative of such visual presentation ideas, I have included a sample PowerPoint Markman claim construction hearing trial graphic below that portrays a creative use of animation in PowerPoint.  This case involved a patent infringement claim where the plaintiff claimed the defendants were infringing their patent for automated systems for selecting and delivering packages to fill prescription drug orders.

The intent of this demonstrative was to reproduce the function of the machine at issue in PowerPoint in order to visually show how the machine worked as opposed to using documents and the patent to explain how the machine works.

At Animators at Law, we provide demonstratives that are communicative and educational while also being stimulating enough to keep the jury engaged.  We do this by creating trial graphics that clearly explain the concepts a trial team is conveying to the jury so that they will understand the facts and legal arguments of the case  through the use of memorable demonstratives that resonate with the jury or fact finder.

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Tags: Patent Tutorial, Markman Hearings, Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, Trial Consulting, Animation, Patent Litigation, PowerPoint, Claim Construction, Information Design

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Ken Lopez founded A2L Consulting in 1995. The firm has since worked with litigators from all major law firms on more than 10,000 cases with over $2 trillion cumulatively at stake.  The A2L team is comprised of psychologists, jury consultants, trial consultants, litigation consultants, attorneys and information designers who provide jury consulting, litigation graphics and trial technology.  Ken Lopez can be reached at lopez@A2LC.com.


Tony Klapper joined A2L Consulting after accumulating 20 years of litigation experience while a partner at both Reed Smith and Kirkland & Ellis. Today, he is the Managing Director of Litigation Consulting and General Counsel for A2L Consulting. Tony has significant litigation experience in products liability, toxic tort, employment, financial services, government contract, insurance, and other commercial disputes.  In those matters, he has almost always been the point person for demonstrative evidence and narrative development on his trial teams. Tony can be reached at klapper@a2lc.com.

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Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D., Managing Director, Trial & Jury Consulting, has conducted over 400 mock trials in more than 1,000 litigation engagements over the past 20 years. Dr. Kuslansky's goal is to provide the highest level of personalized client service possible whether one's need involves a mock trial, witness preparation, jury selection or a mock exercise not involving a jury. Dr. Kuslansky can be reached at kuslansky@A2LC.com.

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