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  by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting I love a good trial timeline whether it's a printed large-format trial board or whether it's in PowerPoint form. This goes for my colleagues here at A2L, as well. In fact, we love timelines so much that we've even produced a book with more than 30 types of trial timelines illustrated. Timelines are used as demonstrative evidence in just about every trial. They serve an obvious purpose of orienting judge and/or jury to the order of events and how those events relate to one another. It's the one exhibit that helps make sense of it all, particularly in a complex case. As our trial timine book discusses, a timeline does not have to be limited to simple chronologies. In fact by incorporating graphs, photos, color schemes and more, a timeline can transmute from being simply informative to being quite persuasive.

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by Ken Lopez Quite often, the subject matter at issue in a major trial is very complex and technical and is not intuitively obvious for a jury composed of laypersons, or even a judge, to understand. In fact, that’s why trial consulting companies like us emerged in the early 1990s – to help lawyers explain in a clear visual manner what’s at stake in a case, so that judges and jurors will be able to understand the facts and make a well reasoned decision. As a Texas trial lawyer has written, “The typical jury has a 14th-grade education, a 12th-grade comprehension level, and a 9th grade attention span. The implications of this are important in presenting scientific or technical information to a jury. For one thing, it means you cannot assume the jury will have any pre-existing knowledge or understanding of the information you are trying to convey, particularly if it involves a scientific or technical matter.” In cases involving product liability, patents, the environment, antitrust, and other areas of law, courtroom presentations ranging from the most basic photograph or chart to the most complex computer-generated presentation have been a staple for sophisticated litigators for decades.

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by Ken Lopez No trial presentation exhibit specialist can perform any better than his or her tools. Although the judge and jury aren’t usually aware of what software the trial consultant is using, the choice of presentation software is essential to the success of the consultant, and ultimately to the success of the case. Over the last decade, presenting demonstrative evidence has usually meant using PowerPoint. In the hands of an expert trial consultant, PowerPoint is an extremely flexible tool. As we said earlier this year, for talented information designers, PowerPoint is a blank canvas that can be filled with works of presentation art. Among major law firms, PowerPoint still maintains nearly a 100 percent market share. After all, if something has been shown to work over and over again, there is every reason for a trial lawyer to continue using it rather than trying something new and unproven.

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