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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

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Ryan H. Flax, Esq., Managing Director, Litigation Consulting, joined A2L Consulting on the heels of practicing Intellectual Property (IP) law as part of the Intellectual Property team at Dickstein Shapiro LLP, a national law firm based in Washington, DC.  Over the course of his career, Ryan has obtained jury verdicts totaling well over $1 billion in damages on behalf of his clients and has helped clients navigate the turbulent waters of their competitors’ patents.  Ryan can be reached at

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Printed Trial Boards Making a Comeback? It's Courtroom Deja Vu!


Electronic presentation tools such as PowerPoint and Trial Director have changed the wayprinted foam core trial boards in which lawyers and trial consultants present evidence to juries. These programs and others like them are so flexible and helpful in presenting numerical data, timelines, biological processes, the workings of machinery, and other information that in many ways they have displaced the old-fashioned methods such as printing words and graphics on foam core trial boards.

However, I believe that the printed and mounted foam core trial board is making a comeback and should return to the arsenal of trial presentation tools used by litigators – if it ever left at all.

After all, the purpose of any trial exhibit is the communication of information. The precise medium of communication is secondary. Any trial exhibit is designed to represent information that is relevant to the case in a way that fosters a believable and lasting impression with the judge or jury.   

While most of our exhibits are electronic these days, we are still, in the appropriate cases, presenting exhibits on foam core where the situation calls for it.

When A2L was founded 16 years ago, we would go to court with hundreds of 40 inch by 60 inch trial boards for a single trial. Every document call-out, every photo and every other type of exhibit was printed. Rare was the use of electronic evidence. That changed gradually over the years, and now jurors, in every kind of complex case, in every region of the country, have come to expect to see fairly sophisticated electronic evidence in the courtroom.

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Now, it is the trial board which is rare. Like a miniature poodle in a group of dogs of ordinary size, or a handwritten, signed letter in a sea of emails, a trial board stands out.

To a jury, a board is not something they are used to seeing. So when they see it, they pay attention to this special thing that has been crafted for them.

Foam core is a type of material that is ideally suited for trial boards. It consists of an inner layer of polystyrene with outer facing of white clay-coated paper. Trial exhibits are printed on a large format printer and mounted onto the foam core board. Optionally, they can be laminated to give the board a more finished look and additional strength.  Printed trial boards can be easily displayed for viewing by judges and juries and will stand up to repeated handling, yet they are not overly expensive.

We now advise our clients to use foam core boards to draw attention to the key messages in their case. To us, documentary evidence is like the words of a sentence, demonstrative evidence is like the commas and trial boards are like the exclamation points.

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I find this to be an interesting article, considering that exhibit boards are now considered to be on the "comeback". Where I am working, they never left, and the firms who use us rely on them heavily. Notwithstanding the current advances in tech that allow litigators to use the iPad and other electronic accompaniments, there is something about a tangible board that means something substantial for juries and representation. My hope is that they never go away.
Posted @ Thursday, October 06, 2011 8:56 AM by Oladele
Exhibit boards also eliminate the risk of technical difficulties in the court room. Smaller cases cannot afford the expense of a trial technician to make sure all goes smoothly in the hot seat.
Posted @ Thursday, October 06, 2011 9:16 AM by Misty Sheffield
Thanks for the great feedback. I agree that that for some litigators, boards have never gone out of style -- however, in most large cases, electronic presentations do dominate. Like a great fashion, a good style always comes back. And I agree, it is nice knowing boards are not subject to technical hiccups. We've never had one in 16 years, but we sure have seen people who have! Thanks again. Keep the comments coming.
Posted @ Thursday, October 06, 2011 4:32 PM by Ken Lopez
Indeed a very nice post. I am also associated with imaginationworksla, Foam board printing los angeles, vehicle wraps los angeles, car wraps los angeles. Thanks for writing such good posts and as I have subscribed to your blog, I do expect that you will be posting nice posts like this on a regular basis.
Posted @ Saturday, June 01, 2013 3:24 AM by Frankuis
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