The most effective arguments to a jury tell a story that resonates. By painting a picture of what happened, attorneys can bring jurors to their side and thus they will view the case from their client’s perspective. Witness testimony and artifacts are important pieces to this puzzle, but imagery is another crucial way to build a successful case.
Trial graphics are one way to help jurors visualize important pieces of information the way we want them to see it. In this way, they are not unlike infographics, which studies show are one of the most effective mediums to help audiences retain information. But simply throwing an infographic in front of jurors isn’t enough to fully use the potential of this medium. Knowing the different options for legal graphics can help you use them effectively.
The Various Types of Trial Graphics
Visual storytelling is important especially for highly technical or complicated cases. A dynamic diagram of a medical procedure or a recreation of the events that lead up to an accident can get the message across better than describing these details. You can use many techniques to show rather than tell in court.
- 2D and 3D modeling and animation: Knowing how events unfolded is often the deciding factor in cases. Animation provides a clear picture of the sequence of events. Modeling gives jurors a tangible representation of important pieces of information, such as the damage caused by a medical procedure.
- Videography: Video not only enhances understanding but also helps jurors remember key points. When time comes for them to decide, you don’t want them to have forgotten the most essential elements.
- Large format boards: A graph, diagram or chart often is the best way to summarize details. Large format boards ensure the juror can actually see those graphics in the courtroom and make sense of the information on them.
These are just a few examples. Your legal graphics may also include PowerPoint presentations and technical tutorials that bring jurors up to speed.
How Graphics Can Benefit Your Case
Most lawyers are aware that it’s not only the strength of evidence that wins or loses cases; it’s how that evidence is presented. Graphics help you speak to the ultimate decision-makers, the jury, in a way that bolsters your chances for success.
- Increases comprehension of complicated details
- Raises credibility of client
- Creates clear differentiation from other side
- Persuades jurors of arguments
- Aids retention of information
- Makes clear takeaways of key points
How you use legal graphics may depend on the stage of litigation and the nature of your case. Regardless, they remain an essential tool for courtroom trials.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Graphics are good, but only if they are used to maximum effect. Always remember who you are speaking to, the jury members, and how they will perceive the information.
- Incorporate case themes and storylines: Images are only effective when they have clear relevance to your case. Link the images to your central point, and include them in your overall story to improve retention.
- Avoid adding too much text: The power of the image should largely stand on its own. Too much text is confusing and can detract from the main message. Aim for one clear visual and a simple verbal message.
- Use state of the art graphics: Using high quality graphics is like showing up to court in a suit instead of gym gear. It shows preparation and dedication and further emphasizes that the jurors can trust the information you present as reliable.
All in all, follow the concepts of keeping it simple, relevant and compelling.