A Tip from the CEO: Animation and Trial Graphics Help Win $150M Defense Verdict in Complex Patent Case Timelines: Persuading Under the Guise of Informing
February 3, 2003
by Kenneth J. Lopez, J.D., President & CEO
Q: Timelines are used in every trial and their only function is to help the Judge or Jury keep track of what happened and when it happened, right?
A: Wrong. The best timelines persuade. (see below)
Animators' Litigation Consultants and Information Designers routinely use an age-old courtroom tool, the timeline, in a totally new way to help win more cases. I want to quickly share with you the basics of our technique so that you may use it effectively in your next trial or presentation. Recently, Animators at Law was hired by Holland & Knight LLP to produce a group of trial graphics and animations to defend one of its clients against allegations of patent infringement. One of these exhibits was what we call a persuasive timeline. Its purpose was to convey a 'big picture' message rather than to be used, as most timelines are, as a detailed story telling device.
In consultation with our Animators at Law Information Designers and our Litigation Consultants, all of whom are attorneys, we created a timeline with icons representing the many press releases, meetings and trade shows during which the Plaintiff learned about the Defendant's competing technology. The iconic approach quickly conveys the sheer cumulative volume of the Plaintiff's opportunities to discover the Defendant's of the technology that was later accused. This relatively simply approach to retelling the facts visually was designed to leave the jury with a strong and clear message:
Plaintiff had 17 years and dozens of opportunities to claim infringement but never did.
With talented lawyering and help from effective trial graphics such as this one, the jury found no infringement in this case and awarded nothing to the Plaintiff.
One important factor which immediately sets Animators apart from its competitors is the fact that Animators is attorney-owned and operated. As a result, the team at Animators can immediately grasp even the most complex legal issues, and can offer a higher level of insight into the development of effective trial exhibits. This critical distinction also serves to save the client money by allowing the client to focus solely on their case, rather than having to waste valuable time explaining basic legal concepts. This advantage is particularly important in the context of litigation because of the rigid deadlines and intense time pressure which litigators often face.
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