Effective timelines in Trial guidelines:
1. Make it simple - don't confuse the jury;
2. Make it interesting - don't lose the jury's attention;
3. Create it so it can be displaying on a screen AND printed on a Trial board;
4. Incorporate Icons
5. Choose you Colors Wisely
6. TELL A STORY (Beginning Middle and End)
It is safe to say that most lawyers and attorneys are not visual. They have been trained to READ the law not SEE it. However, your jurors, especially present day jurors and more visual than ever. They constantly consume media via television, computer and the personal devices. Being able to tell you client's story in a way that appeals to jurors visually will definitely give you an advantage over your opponent.
More recently certain softwares have been created to do "Instant" timelines. Timelines where you put the information in and a computer program creates a "template" timeline. The equivalent is your client buying some type of boilerplate legal form in Office Depot and just filling in the blank spaces. You would never advise someone to use a boilerplate legal form from an office store so why would you use boiler plate demonstratives for your case at trial? It doesn't make sense. Timelines need to captivate your audience. They have to definitely link causation to the events in the timeline. How do you do this? Through color, icons and design. A great legal graphic designer know how to employ colors, layout, icons and documents to capture your client's attention and keep it -- in a way that a computer program cannot.
Timelines can be interactive. A way that they can have hotspots on certain icons to bring up documents, photographs etc. Timelines can be static by printing them on a large board so it is more frequently and readily visible for the jurors. Of course, a great legal graphic designer knows at what resolution to complete these timelines so it can be displayed by a projector or printed on a static board to place on an easel.
APVisuals works one on one with their client's to create a timeline that conveys your case's theme. We also work together with clients to determine whether a jury will be able to read the timeline (too much text and too small), whether the timeline will be printed and mounted on trial boards or whether it will be displayed on a large screen.
In order to create an effective timeline, APVisuals will require the following information:
1. What is your goal with the time-line what do you want to show?
2. How many times will you use the timeline (opening, witnesses, closing)?
3. What is the complete story?
4. What are some key documents, medical records if you are doing an interactive timeline?
5. Who are the key players in your story?
6. Photographs of injuries, damaged property, etc.
If you are in need of a timeline, APVisuals's legal graphic designers have over 20 years of combined experience in create effective and compelling timelines for clients. We are readily available to discuss with you on how we can enhance you case with a custom designed timeline for your client's story. Contact us for further details.