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The Litigation Consulting Report

12 Things About PowerPoint You Probably Never Knew

Posted by Alex Brown on Thu, Jun 9, 2016 @ 11:47 AM

PowerPoint tips tricks lawyers opening statementsby Alex Brown
Director of Operations
A2L Consulting

The definition of power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. Graphic artists of all shapes and sizes, once they fully delve into using the Microsoft PowerPoint tool, usually end up surprised by the power inherent in PowerPoint.

When you hear people say they hate PowerPoint presentations, they usually use excuses like; “It’s too wordy, excessive effects, it puts me to sleep, Group read along, Rorschach effect, frivolous fonts, and BULLET POINTS!”

The truth is they are correct. PowerPoint is not always used to create litigation graphics to the best effect. But that doesn’t mean you should blame the tool. Here are 12 tips and features of PowerPoint that will excite and enlighten even the most creative thinker.

  1. Narrate over slides. This is especially effective when you need to create a technology tutorial or explain otherwise complicated material. We have done this for many a client using professional narrators and always with the desired effect. The audience is engaged and understanding the message as they should.

  2. Pan and zoom. Images can do more than just appear on the screen. You can create movement to keep your audience focused on what you want them to focus on. This is effective when you have a lot of images that you want to share, but in the end, you want them to focus on a specific one. You can use the zoom feature to focus them and then you can add callouts so they understand what they are seeing and what you want them to remember.

  3. Embed a functioning Excel worksheet. Suppose that your damages expert has made some brilliant worksheets. Embed them into your deck. There’s no reason to use paper handouts or to switch from one program to another. You can also manipulate the worksheet so they focus on the numbers that are key.

  4. Pop-up/call out Instead of having a slide appear completely filled with text, have it appear when needed and be replaced as you move down your key points. This is effective because you allow your audience’s eyes to focus on specific things and keep them engaged. Science dictates that they will retain more information this way.

  5. Charts. They can be used effectively to show how things relate to each other, such as a timeline, organizational chart, flow chart, or process diagram. Lawyers often are afraid to use charts because they fear that the audience will get ahead of the message. This is true in many cases, which is why you want them to build up slowly, not just sit on the screen as a static image.

    powerpoint litigation graphics consultants

  6. Pictogram or infographic images. What is expected from a trial team changes almost monthly. Today, infographics are huge, and the icons, images, and feel of infographics are comfortable and accepted. Use today’s marketing messaging to your advantage so your audience receives the message and retains the information.

  7. Highlight text to draw attention. Use a call-out to highlight a quote or a section of a contract. You want the audience to get the feel of what is being highlighted but you also want them to remember a few impact words. We all remember the old videos with the “follow the bouncing ball.” Take advantage of that familiarity and highlight the text at the moment you want them to focus on that impact word. It can be a very powerful way to get a message across to your audience.

  8. Illuminate, glow, or change the color of the text to draw attention. Like highlighting, you can also be subtle and use these options to almost subconsciously get them to remember impact words during deliberation.

  9. Embed videos. Today, your audience expects you to show them something that will wow them. If you don’t, you run the risk of disappointing them or even making them feel as if you were simply not trying hard enough. You want to keep their attention; what better way to grab it then to add video to your deck. You no longer need to bring up a different program or use a machine to play video. On a click, you can show them exactly what you want, highlight things throughout, create pop-ups or call-outs around it. This is very powerful and something we have been doing for years. See, 16 PowerPoint Litigation Graphics You Won't Believe Are PowerPoint.

  10. Animations. Many people fear animations, and they should. The courtroom is not a good place for flashing, spinning, exploding transitions. Animations are incorporated, however, in all of our decks, used sometimes without detection. The best effects are the ones that draw attention to the message, not the transition.

  11. Create custom bullets. Bullet points kill your presentation, period. But we still use lists, just in a way that does not make it LOOK like a bullet list. Create icons instead of black or colored dots. Don’t use them at the beginning, but add check marks at the end. This changes the feel and increases impact.

  12. Use 3D effects. This goes right back to what the audience expects. If you need to use a 3D image, use it. We have done this for impact and retention for years. You do not need to always use a 3D program to do it. We have used movement to backgrounds to simulate depth and perspective. All in PowerPoint. See, 16 PowerPoint Litigation Graphics You Won't Believe Are PowerPoint.

It is not your job to learn different litigation graphics packages to entertain your audience. It is your job to keep your audience engaged by employing these and hundreds of other persuasion tools so they learn and retain the information needed to achieve success when the verdict is handed down.

using litigation graphics courtroom to persuade trial graphics a2l consulting

Other articles and resources related to the use of PowerPoint at trial, litigation graphics and PowerPoint trial graphics generally:

Tags: Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Animation, Presentation Graphics, Advocacy Graphics, PowerPoint, Persuasive Graphics, Visual Persuasion, Infographics

3 Observations by a Graphic Artist Turned Litigation Graphics Artist

Posted by Maureen Vogel on Tue, Dec 22, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

graphic design litigation artistby Maureen Vogel
Litigation Graphics Artist
A2L Consulting

Before becoming an artist here at A2L Consulting, I was what you might call a typical graphic designer. I specialized in creating visual art, primarily for nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC area. My primary focus was usually to visually convey a single important message with each graphic. I’d never concerned myself personally or professionally with the world of litigation.

When I was a graphic designer, the software platforms Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign were my standard canvas. However, as a litigation graphics artist, I usually stick to PowerPoint as the fundamental visual presentation tool. Although graphics may often incorporate visual concepts developed outside the PowerPoint platform, this is the foundation for presentation, and much of my artwork is now done in PowerPoint itself (and sometimes in Keynote for Apple devices). PowerPoint is a surprisingly powerful tool. In addition, I have noticed that there are quite a few differences between graphic design and litigation graphics art.

Here are some of the differences I have observed that I find most interesting.

1. Color psychology is very important in litigation-focused graphics.

litigation-graphics-pyschology-color-meaning.jpgYes, color psychology is important in the graphic design realm as well. But in litigation graphics, using the wrong colors in court could offend your audience or negatively affect their mood. That would be a catastrophe.

One example I’ve encountered at work was when the client asked me to change a list of people’s names on a PowerPoint slide from black to red. Red is a color we generally try to avoid in PowerPoint slides because it can increase aggressive feelings in audience members (jurors). Also, I had my own personal aversion to red; depending on the culture, the color red can also invoke very different emotions. For example, in Japan, my home country, writing a person’s name in red means that person will die soon. This would accordingly evoke a very specific emotion in the wrong audience. Because the client’s goal in changing the black font to red was simply to make it more visible and not necessarily to invoke feelings of alarm or aggression toward the people listed, we suggested a brighter blue font instead of red. Almost any color you can think of invokes a specific emotional response, so plan accordingly for your litigation graphics.

A2L is looking for talented graphic designers! Read more here.

2. Litigation design tends to have uncertain or very tight deadlines

deadlines-trial-graphics-litigation.gifWhen I was a graphic designer and did freelance graphic design work, I usually had a good idea of when the project needed to be done. This is not the case with litigation graphics. But perhaps it should be.

As a litigation graphic artist, I sometimes feel like a doctor on call. Trial dates can be changed at any time, and projects that were once due in a week can all of a sudden be due much sooner.

If you want your litigation graphic artist to create very persuasive demonstratives, make sure to devote enough time to brainstorm what graphics are needed to support your client’s story and also give the artist ample time to complete the work. This seems simple enough, but I see that that trial teams more often than not wait until what seems like the last minute to begin to develop the visual component of their trial presentation. From working with A2L, I know that this does not fit with the best practices. I suggest that trial teams begin thinking about how they’ll present their cases to a jury (or judge) many months in advance of actually needing to do so. This gives them enough time to plan for the arguments and to have a professional team craft winning graphics to go with those arguments.

3. Creativity is often influenced by the judge

demonstrative-evidence-consultant.jpgAs a graphic designer, my task was to portray information in the most creative way possible. Litigation design, on the other hand, usually isn’t a contest to see how artistic you can be (it helps, but that’s not the main focus). The judge often will determine the level of creativity required or allowed for courtroom graphics.

Before clients hire us, they typically need to get permission from the judge for the types of demonstratives allowed at trial (e.g., PowerPoint, posters, videos, etc.). Once the types of demonstratives are decided upon, we begin creating graphics accordingly. Sometimes a set of visually pleasing graphics that we’ve created need to be reduced to what one might call “bland” visuals because according to the client, “the judge is very conservative.

For those who believe they will be shot down for being too creative, consider that sometimes an element of surprise is a good thing. Creativity can be conservative, and higher style can be more engaging to even the most conservative of audiences. Words don’t persuade; arguments do. I suggest crafting visuals that convey ideas and emotions rather than pure language – asking an audience, be it a judge or juror, to remember words and more words is not engaging.

Overall, there are quite a few differences between graphic art and litigation-focused graphic art; however, in the end, they both require knowledge of the foundations of art and design – which are concepts appreciated by any audience.

A2L is looking for talented graphic designers! Read more here.

A2L Consulting articles focused on demonstrative evidence, trial graphics, and litigation graphics consulting:

using litigation graphics courtroom to persuade trial graphics a2l consulting


Tags: Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Demonstrative Evidence, Presentation Graphics, Advocacy Graphics, PowerPoint, Persuasive Graphics, Infographics, Information Design

Persuasive Graphics: How Pictures Are Increasingly Influencing You

Posted by Ken Lopez on Mon, Nov 4, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

persuasive graphics dc building heightby Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

I believe that ever since the rise and growth of the Internet, times have changed so much that if you don't dominate the visual space in your battlefield with persuasive graphics -- whether you’re in the courtroom, the boardroom or the political landscape -- you will, all other things being equal, lose your battle.

This was one of the themes that came up in a lunch I had with a rising political star the other day. He saw this trend clearly taking hold and rapidly advancing in his industry. I could have had the same conversation with a trial lawyer, a scientific advocate headed to a FDA hearing, or a leader of a neighborhood coalition. Persuasive graphics are coming to dominate debates.

While this reality is pretty clear in courtrooms, it is only becoming obvious in political circles and everywhere else now.

Recall the Obama/Romney election. The President completely dominated his challenger with persuasive graphics that got circulated by armies of followers on social media. The Romney campaign limply followed-up with weak visuals produced by amateurs. I wrote about this before election day, and I have watched the President's people just continue to get better and better at developing persuasive graphics during his presidency. I suspect the opposition continues to stumble about in the dark trying to find the right visual message.

This movement is everywhere when you start looking. Here in my hometown of DC, there is an emerging dispute over building heights that highlights how persuasive graphics are being used for advocacy in all walks of life. Law professors have written about it. Bloggers are writing about it. Even the New York Times has written about it.

deliver great presentations inside and outside of the courtroom

As you may know, DC is architecturally unique in the United States. Here, maximum building heights are determined by a formula based on the width of the road on which a building sits. The result of these restrictions is that the tallest new buildings downtown end up being about 15 stories or so. This creates an almost anti-Manhattan landscape that is low and gives off a Parisian feel. 

Most DC people love this low-building feel and would not change it. However, development drives tax dollars, and the DC city council and mayor's office, both institutions not otherwise known for good taste or integrity, are advocating a major building height change. So, how are people beginning to push back? With scary visuals of course. 

There are pieces now in the Washington Post and The Washington City Paper that show seemingly innocuous beige buildings appearing around the city. Instead of using attractive sample buildings, they use massive beige walls. They make it look like the city and its monuments will be encircled by a massive wall of 1990's-era tower PC's. If you are looking to see this height change defeated, it's a brilliant strategy and that's how some are using these drawings. And, my bet is they'll prevail as they own the persuasive graphics landscape in this battle.

Thanks to social media, mobile phones and the Internet, we can all move much more quickly now. We can get more done. We can influence more people. We can maintain relationships with more people than someone who lived just a couple of hundred years ago would meet in their entire lifetimes. This ability to move quickly is translating to efficiencies that are good for those who can keep up.

Trials move more quickly. Juries demand clear information delivered efficiently. Electorates look for quick bite-sized pieces of information. We are spoiled by all this efficiency in communications. Sure, there was something romantic about a 19th century handwritten letter, but the world moves at a different pace now and using efficient communications is good business. 

If you are behind the curve on adopting visual and persuasive graphics in your career, now is the time. Read our blog. Subscribe to our blog. Read Professor Tufte's books. Download this e-book about litigation graphics and learn the tricks of the trade. What you have to gain is nothing less than an enhanced power to persuade.

Articles and Free Books from A2L Consulting About Persuasive Graphics:

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Tags: Trial Graphics, Presentation Graphics, Advocacy Graphics, PowerPoint, Persuasive Graphics, Infographics, Washington D.C., Information Design

Portray Your Client As a Hero in 17 Easy Storytelling Steps

Posted by Ken Lopez on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 @ 06:21 AM

heros journey client storytelling trial litigation lawyerby Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

Much has been written about the hero's journey as Joseph Campbell described it in his seminal work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In this 1949 book, Campbell asserts that storytellers worldwide, in their best stories, have for centuries used a story structure that he calls the monomyth. From Beowulf to Ulysses to Luke Skywalker, the pattern is seen over the ages. 

Leadership speakers, filmmakers, theologians and literary authorities use the 17 steps described by Campbell to tell stories that have multi-generational staying power. I had the pleasure of attending a TEDx event last month whose theme was the hero's journey.

As we have written about before and described in A2L's free Storytelling for Litigators book, humans are moved by stories at a primal level. Tapping into this human need for drama by using storytelling in the courtroom is an easy (but not simple) method of persuading your judge or jury. As is largely true in sales, I believe that juries (and probably most judges) decide on emotion and justify their decisions with facts.

Since we know that using story is a valuable courtroom strategy and since we know that painting our clients as heroes is also inherently valuable, I thought I might try to use some of the existing hero’s journey charts and guides to build a narrative for a typical case. The problem that I found is that most writing (or charting) on this topic is weighed down by so much jargon (e.g. Apostasis, Belly of the Whale, Rescue from Without) that it is hard to quickly make sense of. To that end, below is a litigation-ready infographic free of literary jargon that lays out the key 17 steps of the hero's journey.

[Click to image to pop-out a larger version and to share]

litigator heros journey client storytelling courtroom joseph campbell

[Click to image to pop-out a larger version and to share]

As the chart above shows, the hero's journey follows a pattern of 17 steps. Campbell's cryptically described 17 steps are well discussed here. To make this useful pattern more accessible, I've attempted to use plain language to describe the steps. My plain language stage is followed in parentheses by the name that Campbell gave to it. Also, to help bring the process alive, I have matched each step with an example from a hypothetical legal and technical fact pattern, typical of the cases we most often see at A2L.

Here, our heroine is a lower level employee at a stagnant remote control manufacturing company, and she has an idea for a breakthrough product - a remote control operated not with a handheld device but by wireless physical hand gestures.

  1. Something Interrupts the Ordinary (Campbell's Call to Adventure): Describe the status quo as it was at the time. Then describe that moment when someone sees an opportunity for change or a new threat emerges.

    In the hypothetical example, remote controls are functional uninspiring devices that get lost, wear out and have undergone little change for 25 years, in the same era that saw the mass deployment of handheld phones and personal computers. Inspired by watching her nieces play a TV-displayed game that uses hang gestures instead of controllers, our heroine imagines a world where hand gestures alone can manipulate her television and replace standard remote controls. At work the next day, she here’s a speech by the firm’s CEO who is looking for new ideas.
  2. Obstacles Arise (Campbell's Refusal of the Call): Share how obstacles arose from the very beginning that prevented your client from taking the leap of faith required to pursue the opportunity.

    Example: After hearing the speech, our heroin brings the idea to the attention of management at the remote control factory and was laughed out of the executive suite. She figured they were in management for a reason and went back to manufacturing remote controls as before.
  3. A Mentor or Helper Appears (Campbell's Supernatural Aid): Explain how your client gets some unexpected assistance that is a sensible next step in bringing the opportunity to reality.

    Example: Our heroine attends a consumer electronics conference that shows off some new gaming technology that reminds her of her idea. She talks with the reps at the tradeshow booth about applications they’ve considered for their wireless controllers. They suggest she show them what she has in mind.

    Free E-Book Download - Click Here Storytelling for Litigators

  4. A Big Step Forward (Campbell's Crossing of the First Threshold): Recount how your client made the decision to move forward toward the opportunity with a large clear step.

    Example: Our heroine makes the brave decision to leave her employer and set off on her own.
  5. Out with the Old, In with the New (Campbell's Belly of the Whale): Tell how your client demonstrated a willingness to embrace the opportunity in spite of the great odds.

    Example: Our heroine’s savings has run out and she stays up night after night trying to perfect a prototype with the dream of returning to that gaming company to show off her work.
  6. Many Attempts with Mixed Results (Campbell's Road of Trials): Chronicle how your client tried to reach the opportunity time and time again. Usually, there are some successes and some failures.

    Example: She created prototype after prototype and each had some success and some failure.
  7. Finding a Partner (Campbell's Meeting With the Goddess): Describe how your client came to find that right person or right organization that helped them achieve success.

    Example: Our heroine goes to the gaming company, shows off her prototype, agrees to sell the technology and joins the new firm to help them commercialize it.
  8. Temptation to Stray (Campbell's Woman as Temptress): Detail how your client was met with an opportunity to stray from the chosen path but chose the higher road.

    Example: Our heroine is contacted by her former employer, who offers to bring her back to the old firm for more money and an executive position at the company if she will share the new technology they are hearing rumors about. She declines the offer.
  9. Meeting with a Mentor (Campbell’s Atonement with the Father): Discuss how your client one day had a meeting with the person or organization at the center of the opportunity.

    Example: The Chairman of the Board stops by our heroine’s prototype lab to check out the new product in development and take stock of her. He says that they are going to bet big on her idea for the holiday season.
  10. A Period of Reflection (Campbell's Apotheosis): Explain how your client took some time to reflect on how far things progressed to date.

    Example: While on vacation, our heroine watches as her young nieces again use a wireless gaming device to entertain themselves on a rainy beach day and she increasingly sees her product as the future.
  11. Success (Campbell's Ultimate Boon): Share how your client achieved the goal set out in the opportunity.

    Example: The product is launching into stores, and the early reviews are positive from the technology press. Our heroine begins to realize that her idea was not only a good one but one with vast commercial potential.

    Download Free E-Book Leadership for Lawyers

  12. Don't Forget Where You Came From (Campbell's Refusal of the Return): Report how your client began to enjoy her success.

    Example: All of the press swoon over our heroine, and she becomes a fixture on panels at technology conferences worldwide, often traveling for weeks at a time. Her nieces miss seeing her.
  13. Remember Where You Came From (Campbell's Magic Flight): Discuss your client's return to their roots and journey home.

    Example: Our heroine, now fed up with long periods of time away from loved ones, puts an end to the fame treadmill and makes a surprise journey home to be with her family.
  14. Back to Reality (Campbell's Rescue from Without): Relate how your client had to return back to everyday life having achieved so much, only the world is now quite different for them.

    Example: Our heroine is picked up from the airport by her sister who describes what was like to return from a military deployment and reminds her of the challenge of coming home from her own time away.
  15. What Did You Learn (Campbell's Crossing of the Return Threshold): Describe what your client learned from this entire experience.

    Example: Our heroine comes back to her family and shares her experiences with them. Now she watches as her nieces easily use her invention to operate the television without a physical remote control. She is also reminded that the example of the children playing is how she arrived at her idea in the first place.
  16. Mastery Is Revealed (Campbell's Master of Two Worlds): Position your client as someone who now understands what it takes to be successful and is likely capable of replicating that success.

    Example: Our hero notices that the children playing with her new remote control interface ask sensible questions about why other things like cars, bikes and computers can't work this way. We know that she is just beginning to see the possibilities.
  17. Loss of Fear (Campbell's Freedom to Live): With success under their belt, your client now has the confidence to look for new success and trust their instincts. At this point, one might begin the story again to show how your opponent enters the story and the hero's journey begins anew with new challenges to their heroism.

    Example: While watching the kids at home and at complete peace, our heroine hears a knock at the door. It's a process server. Her former company is suing, claiming that the IP was developed on their dime. And so, the hero’s journey begins again, back to step one, only this time, it will be the jury who defines the ending.

Finally, I enjoy this short YouTube video on the hero's journey as it relates to Star Wars, The Matrix and Harry Potter. It will give you another perspective on the hero's journey related to films you're likely familiar with.

Other Storytelling for Lawyers resources on A2L Consulting's site:

Science Issues Experts Trial Litigation Litigation Graphics

Tags: Trial Consultants, Jury Consulting, Litigation Consulting, Trial Consulting, Juries, Jury Consultants, Storytelling, Infographics

[Infographic] What is a Litigation Consultant and What do They Do?

Posted by Ken Lopez on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 @ 07:15 AM

what is a litigation consultant what is litigation consulting infographicby Ken Lopez
Founder & CEO
A2L Consulting

Note: see final version of infographic and related article by clicking here.

What is a litigation consultant? Since the legal landscape has changed so much in recent years, the definition of this term has changed considerably from a practical perspective.

Briefly, a litigation consultant is anyone brought into a case, other than an attorney, paralegal or similar employee, who helps a litigator improve his/her chances of winning a case by elevating the attorney’s performance, saving time, and increase the persuasiveness of the litigator and trial team.

Last week, we wrote that litigation consulting is no longer a novel idea and has indeed become commonplace.  Although we tried to define the role of a litigation consultant, we think it needs further clarification and definition.

So we have prepared this draft infographic (see also, what is an infographic), providing an overview of the litigation consulting industry. This is the best way we know to help generate discussion and encourage feedback so as to make the definition more useful. Soon we will create a more detailed infographic that explains the precise nature of litigation consulting.

We are putting this document out as a draft now in order to obtain input from those who are already in the litigation consulting industry and from those who hire litigation consultants, with the purpose of further refining the definition of litigation consulting. We hope that this exercise will produce a workable definition that will increase the general understanding of this fast-growing field. In a month or so, we'll release a final draft and update this document over time.

What we know now is that as advisers and coaches, litigation consultants help lawyers improve their skills of acting, appearance, speaking, and strategy, often focusing on theme or story development.

As jury experts, they create focus groups and mock trials and advise attorneys on jury selection, venue analysis, trial analysis, applications, tools, and witness preparation.

In the realm of trial presentation, they provide graphics, animation and scale models, and coordinate all manner of presentation services.

As experts in trial technology, they help in both the war room and the courtroom and provide deposition clips and trial databases as needed.

Some litigation consultants are non-testifying experts on scientific, medical, engineering, financial, economic, and legal topics. They serve as consultants to a trial team throughout trial.

We hope to add to and to refine this definition with your help!

Please help us by leaving a comment below. You may, but do not have to, enter your full name. Your email will be kept completely private. 

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Tags: Trial Graphics, Trial Technicians, Trial Consultants, Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, Courtroom Presentations, Litigation Consulting, Trial Consulting, Trial Technology, Jury Consultants, Animation, Infographics

15 Fascinating Legal and Litigation Infographics

Posted by Ken Lopez on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 @ 06:00 AM

what is an infographic litigation infographics consultantsby Ken Lopez
Founder & CEO
A2L Consulting


Terms like infographics, information graphics, and information design are easily confused. It's no wonder. There's not even consensus on the meanings of these terms, as they are relatively new.

Here's how I believe the terms are properly defined. Information design is a sub-specialty of graphic design that involves the creation of information graphics. Information graphics are visuals that are designed to quickly and clearly inform and possibly persuade the viewer.

For example, when we see a curvy arrow on a yellow sign while driving, we instantly know to be cautious of the twisty road ahead. Other examples of information graphics include subway maps, bus station routes, warning labels, sharable political charts or even an explanation of a complicated process.

Some litigation graphics can be properly called information graphics. They are those that are built to persuade as opposed to a simple enlargement of a document or photo. Generally speaking, these graphics are demonstrative evidence, and most demonstratives are information graphics.

Discussing information design without mentioning Yale University's Professor Edward Tufte is sacrilege in our industry. Author of several books on the topic, he is the modern guru of information design.

Infographics are a subcategory of information graphics. As the infographic to the right from marketing firm Customer Magnetism explains, infographics are data-rich visualizations designed to educate and inform.

About half of A2L's work is devoted the creation of litigation graphics with the rest focused on jury consulting and courtroom technology support. So, to tie all of these terms together in the context of our business, you could properly say that our team of information designers are expert in the art of information design, and their work often involves the creation of information graphics and even the occasional infographic.

Highly dense and data-rich infographics are not normally used in the courtroom where quick and clear messages are preferred. My view is that any particular demonstrative used in the courtroom should express one simple sentence (with no conjunctions).

When our information designers create infographics, they are usually being used as part of a lobbying effort or as advocacy graphics outside of the courtroom. Here, like in the image to the right, a typical infographic may express dozens of messages. Instead of expressing a single sentence, an infographic may express a paragraph or even a short story's worth of material.

Below are 15 infographics that relate to the legal industry. Some are focused on litigation, while others are about lawyers generally.

Clicking any of the infographics should bring up its original source and a larger image.

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1. The Patent Lawsuit Economy: This infographic is a few years old but conveys some surprising information. My favorite statistic is that if all active patent cases were adjudicated in 2008, the total cost would have exceeded $31 billion dollars.

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2. We the Plaintiffs: One of two infographics in this article that talks about the high number of lawsuits in the United States, it reminds us that 80% of the world's lawyers live in the United States. Unfortunately, on the number of lawyers per jurisdiction section, this infographic leaves off my hometown, Washington D.C., that boasts a shocking number of lawyers - 800 lawyers per 10,000 residents (10x of New York) or about 1 out of 13 people.

We the plaintiffs infographic lawsuits in america civil suits tort reform


3. Is Justice Colorblind? This infographic tells a disturbing story based on a Duke University study. In a nutshell, the racial makeup of a jury affects conviction rates depending on whether the defendant is white or black.

Is Justice Color Blind Infographic Duke Study Convictions black white jurors



4. Crimes Through Time: Like other infographics in this article, if you click on it, you can view a larger version.

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5. Lawsuits in the United States: While clearly advocating for tort reform, this infographic reminds us that a new lawsuit is filed in the United States every two seconds.

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6. A Look Into Google's Various Legal Entanglements: One of several widely circulated charts that focus on Google, this information graphic clearly shows why Google is a good client to have.

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7. Surgical Mesh Litigation: Like many infographics, this one is really an advertisement in disguise. Yet, it is informative and points to the usefulness of infographics for quickly disseminating information and encourage action.

transvaginal mesh lawsuit infographic resized 600


8.  Lawyer Employment Levels: From this infographic we quickly see what we've all heard: new lawyers are having a tough go of it.

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9. How Many Presidents Were Lawyers: Have you ever wondered which American presidents were lawyers? 26 out of 44 or 59 percent, it turns out.

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10. Intellectual Property Law Explained Through Google: Sometimes the easiest way to learn something new is to put it in context.  Here, this infographic provides a basic explanation of intellectual property law by using elements of Google as examples.

intellectual property explained via google infographic



11. Havard Law School by the Numbers: This infographic is part of a book on infographics. Among the interesting statistics is the fact that 6 of 9 Supreme Court Justices are Harvard Law School graduates.

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12. Drug Abuse Among Lawyers: Sadly, our profession is a stressful one, and that stress takes its toll on many lawyers.

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13. Victories by Legal Underdogs: While our firm more often finds itself on the Goliath side of the equation, this infographic reminds us of interesting David vs. Goliath cases, lucha libre style.

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14. The Law School Bubble: Another scary infographic about the state of the legal economy for law students.

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15. The Most Influential Legal Cases of the Last Century: In spite of some scary infographics about troubles in the profession, this one reminds us of the good lawyers do.

most influential legal cases of the last century

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 Other resources related to infographics, information graphics and litigation graphics generally:




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KenLopez resized 152

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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