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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 Ryan H. Flax, Esq. (Former) Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting

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Don't Be Just Another Timeline Trial Lawyer

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Forty-five states may have mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) requirements for attorneys – but all litigators and litigation support staff, wherever they are located, have a duty to stay informed and maintain their skills. Whether you are a first chair litigator or a litigation paralegal, given the pace of change in trial technology and trial strategy, it can be a challenge just to keep up with the latest trends.

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We have previously discussed how valuable timelines used as legal graphics can be in the presentation of facts at trial. As we have noted, most cases involve the placing of events along some sort of time sequence, and timelines, if they are well designed, can give jurors a straightforward introduction to the facts of a case. In fact, we recently released an e-book describing best practices for the use of timelines and legal graphics at trial.

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In most trial presentations, the trial timeline is often the single most critical demonstrative exhibit used at trial. Much like an effective opening statement, the trial timeline: Orients the viewer; Provides a framework around which facts can be organized; Allows for easy comparison of events occurring in sequence or simultaneously; Builds trust and credibility by sharing a believable story; and even persuades when built correctly.

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