14 Places Your Colleagues Are Using Persuasive Graphics (That Maybe You're Not)
by Ken Lopez
Founder & CEO
People often focus on the use of trial graphics in, well, trials. And there’s no doubt that that’s where persuasive graphics, presentations, and exhibits are most often used. But you might be surprised to see how many other places are appropriate for the use of litigation style graphics. Here are 14 good examples.
- In motions: A juror will never see them but a judge will. For more on this topic, read our article on using litigation and trial graphics in motions.
- In briefs: Generally, trial graphics are used for perfectly normal reasons in briefs. Occasionally, an attorney will use them for the sake of humor or just to prove a point. See this comical courtroom brief.
- In depositions: One of our clients recently asked us to prepare litigation graphics for depositions with an eye toward using those same graphics at trial.
- In mock trials: These can be an excellent investment of money and time in a case that is large enough and significant enough to justify the use of litigation graphics during the mock. See our article on using litigation graphics during a mock trial.
- In pre-trial hearings: We all know graphics are used in Markman hearings, but they are also frequently used in summary judgment hearings and in hearings on motions to dismiss. Again, the jury will not see the exhibits but a judge will.
- In arbitration and alternative dispute resolution: This use of trial graphics is overlooked more than others. Many arbitrations follow rules of evidence and resemble trials, and litigation graphics are quite appropriate in them and in ADR generally.
- In class certification hearings: Graphic demonstrations can be used in many aspect of class actions, and the issue of “predominance” is one in which they are especially useful.
- In advocacy and lobbying presentations: Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial issue, and the graphic that we prepared shows how fracking works and may dispel some unwarranted myths and fears about fracking. It's received 60,000 views as of this writing demonstrating how one might use PowerPoint and video to get a message out.
- In presentation graphics: Most of us prepare and deliver presentations as part of our work. This article on presentation graphics showing how the President prepares and delivers an effective visual presentation using persuasive graphics is a good guide for any of us.
- In e-briefs: This technique is being used more and more frequently by trial lawyers, and e-briefs are now including litigation graphics, sometimes animated graphics too.
- In e-discovery disputes: Sometimes, a courtroom presentation consultant will demonstrate what documents were missing and why sanctions were warranted. Sometime the graphics illustrate, to the contrary, that the documents were completely or largely produced or that the matter in dispute is not large enough to require sanctions. E-discovery hearings are utilizing persuasive graphics more and more.
- In settlement discussions: We have seen trial graphics prepared for settlement many times in the last two decades. Recently, however, the sophistication demanded of those graphics has been on the rise. Sometimes, even high-end 3-D animations are prepared. The trick, of course, is to balance the persuasive benefit of the graphics with the risk that settlement talks fail, and you tip your hand leading up to trial.
- In pre-indictment meetings: As government budgets have increased over the last four years, so too have pre-indictment meetings with prosecutors. We have prepared countless 'clopening' style presentations for these meetings hoping to help our client avoid indictment altogether. Well-thought-through persuasive graphics may help avoid a negative life or company changing event.
- In technology tutorials: No longer are technology tutorials used only in patent cases to help educate the judge. Litigators are requesting to submit them in other cases where educating the judge is beneficial to both sides. This could include complex financial cases, large antitrust matters with a complex product at issue and many other types of cases.
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