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Trial Exhibits: Using the Document Call-Out to Persuade

Ken Lopez
By: Ken Lopez

Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, Juries, Color Theory, Trial Director, Document Call-Outs, Information Design

Whether a $5 million trial or litigation involving hundreds of billions of dollars, Animators at Law almost always uses document call-out trial exhibits as part of its trial presentation.  They are a time-tested and effective tool for highlight key portions of a document in evidence.  Sometimes these call-outs are done on-the-fly in Trial Director by our on-site trial technicians and sometimes these are created using PowerPoint.

Regardless of the tool used, care should be taken to consider the most persuasive design for the point a litigator is trying to make.  All too often, stock designs that simply highlight black text in electronic yellow highlighter or faux torn paper tear-outs are used to emphasize key text.  Sometimes these approaches are adequate.  Other times, you are missing out on a key opportunity to persuade.

Animators at Law was hired by The U.S. Department of Justice to produce a group of trial exhibits to defend against injury claims in a rescue helicopter landing.  One key case theme required us to emphasize that it was the duty of the hospital to stop traffic rather than anyone on the helicopter or at air traffic control.  To make this point, we arranged the key call-out language inside a stop sign shape.  When combined with emphasis by the litigator, I believe the message of "STOP" was unforgettable.

trial exhibit stop sign


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