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by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting Over the past three decades I've heard hundreds of lawyers say, “I won't need many graphics because my case is not very visual.” Usually, that's followed up with “It's really a case about documents” or “It’s a dispute over who said what,” or “It’s just about what someone's actions were.” Fortunately, there’s a clear and straightforward answer to these objections: What drives the need for visuals in a case is not the underlying subject matter. It’s your audience's need to see things as well as hear them. In effect, every case is a visual case today. So instead of wondering whether your case lends itself to litigation graphics, you should probably be asking yourself whether you are substituting your judgment about the need for visuals for your audience's core psychological needs. Remember, lawyers tend not to be visual learners themselves, while many or most jurors will be in that category. One trial lawyer said this particularly well in this short video about why litigation graphics are important.

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  by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting We recently asked three top trial lawyers about what makes them so successful in the courtroom. They are quite a successful trio. One of them is Bobby Burchfield of King & Spalding, whose bio notes, “Mr. Burchfield has never lost a jury trial.” That's an especially impressive track record as he's been in practice more than 30 years. So what does winning take? Well, as we saw in previous clips from the same interviews, these trial lawyers believe, as we do, that storytelling is at the heart of building a successful case. Furthermore, as all demonstrative evidence consultants and most trial lawyers will tell you, combining persuasive visual evidence with persuasive oral communications produces a truly synergistic persuasive effect. Persuasion is a rare circumstance where 1+1 really does equal more than 2. Of course, as we have long counseled, just because something is projected on a screen does not make it helpful at a trial. In many cases, as in the case of lawyers who use bullet points to summarize their arguments on screen, some visuals actually make you less persuasive. If yours looks like the image here, then you are certainly doing more damage than good. For more on why that's true, please see our articles 12 Reasons Bullet Points Are Bad (in Trial Graphics or Anywhere), The 12 Worst PowerPoint Mistakes Litigators Make, and Why Reading Your Litigation PowerPoint Slides Hurts Jurors. In this three-minute clip, we hear from the best of the best -- Bobby Burchfield of King & Spalding, Rob Cary of Williams & Connolly, and Patrick Coyne of Finnegan. And we certainly don't hear them talking about the power of bullet pointed lists. Instead, you hear these trial-tested litigation experts talking about the use of animation, the value of timelines, and the importance of showing real evidence to ground your argument in credibility. Burchfield said, “People learn both by seeing and by hearing, and if you can combine those two in one presentation, the more sensory perceptions you combine, the better off you are. Timelines are powerful persuasive tools. A timeline shows from left to right who did what and to whom. Sometimes you show in a timeline above the line what your client knew and below the line what your client didn’t know. It can be a powerful story to show contrasting events that were going on simultaneously. This helps the jury put the entire case into context.” Cary noted, “When a jury can see something that visually displays the evidence, that cloaks you in credibility. That’s critical in earning their trust.” Coyne pointed out, “People are predominantly visual. Most people need an image. They need it to tie things together. Ken [Lopez] and his people did a fantastic animation for us. The judge turned to the other side and said, ‘If I credit this animation, you lose. Do you know that?’ It was a very compelling animation. That’s what I mean by appealing to the judge by giving him a visual that explains what you’re trying to say.” Watching lawyers like these work is a pleasure and their teams score high on our assessment of what makes a great trial team. Other articles related to persuasion in trial, the use of bullet points, and trial presentation best practices from A2L Consulting: Don't Use PowerPoint as a Crutch in Trial or Anywhere 6 Trial Presentation Errors Lawyers Can Easily Avoid 12 Reasons Bullet Points Are Bad (in Trial Graphics or Anywhere) 10 Criteria that Define Great Trial Teams How Much Text on a PowerPoint Slide is Too Much? 5 Ways to Maximize Persuasion During Opening Statements - Part 4 Free A2L Consulting Webinar: Persuasive Storytelling for Litigation The 12 Worst PowerPoint Mistakes Litigators Make 12 Ways to SUCCESSFULLY Combine Oral and Visual Presentations The Effective Use of PowerPoint Presentation During Opening Statement 16 PowerPoint Litigation Graphics You Won't Believe Are PowerPoint

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by Kenneth J. Lopez, J.D. Founder/CEO A2L Consulting Lawyers love words. Lawyers love words on slides - tons of words on slides. Some lawyers think that the more words they use on a PowerPoint litigation graphic, the better. They are wrong. Actually, using too many words on a slide will dramatically damage your effectiveness. This damage is not aesthetic in nature. This is not about your look and feel. It is scientifically proven damage that affects how well you inform and persuade your audience. Indeed, it can be said the higher your slide's word count, the lower your persuasiveness.

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  by Ryan H. Flax, Esq. (Former) Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting We have discussed four important tips for maximizing persuasion during your opening statement (See parts 1, 2, and 3). The last tip is the use of demonstrative evidence in connection with the statement. You need to be aware that most people, other than lawyers, are visual preference learners. Most lawyers, in contrast, are auditory or kinesthetic preference learners.1 Most people teach the same way they prefer to learn – so lawyers typically teach by lecturing, since that is most comfortable for them. But this strategy does not help with the majority of jurors, who would prefer to be taught visually, at least in part. So bridge this courtroom gap with demonstrative evidence, including litigation graphics.

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  by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting A2L Consulting offered its first free litigation webinar just 18 months ago. Since then we've conducted six litigation focused webinars, all free, including: Storytelling for Litigators, Patent Litigation Graphics for Litigators, Making Expert Evidence Persuasive, Persuasion & Opening Statements, Using PowerPoint Litigation Graphics and What Mock Jurors Always Say. These webinars may be viewed on our site anytime, and they have been viewed nearly 10,000 times already. I find that amazing. Since each new webinar is a bit more popular than the one that came before it, it's a bit hard to tell which topics are really the most popular. So, I thought it would be helpful to ask our 6,500 blog readers what topic we should cover in our next webinar (likely May or June). Finding a good webinar presenter will not be difficult. On the A2L team, we have expert jury consultants, trial-tested litigators, experts in persuasion science, the top consultants in visual persuasion and many categories of litigation and persuasion experts. 

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