TIPS for Litigators Using Trial Exhibits at Mediation and Trial
There is no doubt that trial exhibits get a jury's attention. However, there is some room for debate whether technology driven exhibits are better than static images on trial boards. APVisuals believes that the best recipe for creating a persuasive and compelling visual strategy at trial and mediation includes a combination of technology and old-fashion boards and demonstratives. Regardless of whether you prefer technology over static images or vice versa, here are some tips in dealing with demonstratives:
1. Use video depositions rather than reading testimony into the record to impeach witnesses. "Seeing is believing." When Jurors are presented with a video of the witness' prior testimony, they are more likely to understand how they are being impeached. In addition, they are more likely to retain the information regarding the impeachment.
2. How many times are you going to display a particular chart, photograph, etc. If you are going to display the image numerous times, it may be better to print the image on a trial board to quickly pull up and bring to the jury. It can also be left on an easel so the jury can continuously look at the image that you want stamped in their memory.
3. Don't limit yourself to the trial exhibits that you requested prior to trial. As you may know, as an experienced litigator, trials take twists and turns. Be ready to prepare exhibits for the next day testimony, jury verdict instructions, or for an expert. Be on your toes.
4. Make nice with the judge and judicial assistant. Contact the judge's chambers to find out how the judge prefers equipment to be set up and during what time period in the day. The best bet is to find out if the equipment can be set up prior to the commencement of the first day of trial to not have any interruptions after voir dire. You also want your AV team to set up first in order to ensure that the equipment is perfect for your case, not your opposition.
5. If possible, have your witnesses, such as experts, interact with the demonstratives. Have your medical expert come down and explain the MRI, the medical records, etc. It will validate the demonstrative and help the expert connect with the jurors.
6. Don't read off your presentations and boards. Point, highlight, explain. Simple is better that complex.
7. If you believe that the opposition may mark on your board, order an overlay to be placed on your board, so your board is not damaged for closing and additional witnesses.
8. Consider using a day in the life video to explain damages.
9. Don't wait until the last minute to prepare your demonstratives. Exhibits need time to be created tested and amended. Many exhibits should be used at depositions in order to create the theme and continuity at trial.
10. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! You have to be comfortable using the demonstratives and trial exhibits. You have to practice introducing the exhibits and using them. You can either do a mock trial or mock presentation to practice.
These are just a few tip regarding creating and using trial exhibits while you are trying your case.
There is very little doubt that hiring APVisuals, a South Florida based litigation support and graphics team, will enhance your case. APVisuals produces persuasive, high-quality, effective and engaging demonstratives and visuals that help explain the most complex cases to jurors in a simple way.