Part V – Trial Graphic Fundamentals: Coming Trends

This blog is the fifth and final in a series that focuses on the fundamentals of trial graphics. Its content is based on a program Adam Bloomberg, Litigation Insights’ Managing Director for Visual Communications, co-presented with Bryant Spann, Partner at Thomas Combs & Spann PLLC, at the 2014 Midyear Meeting of the International Association of Defense Counsel in Carlsbad, California.

 

Constant evolution in the capabilities of electronic presentation media, and in jurors’ own experiences with graphics in every form, will change how we present our cases. Here are some trends trial lawyers will likely face in the near future.

Hand, Not Handheld, Controls. The advent of technology like Microsoft’s Kinect system allows display screen control with hand gestures, rather than a dedicated controller. This allows for exciting possibilities for trial counsel – imagine moving documents of other items around the display screen with just a wave of your hand. This is an opportunity for high reward, but it presents obvious risks and places a premium on counsel’s familiarity with operating the system.

Beyond the iPad. Tablets have made their way into our everyday law practice and they are now showing up in hearings and small trials. These devices allow trial attorneys to quickly and easily display documents and small video clips. In the near future, look for larger, thinner and even simpler touch screen devices, that even an expert witness could walk up to and control, to make their way into the courtroom,.

3D Printing of Demonstratives. Because mixed media will always be a great way to hold jurors’ attention, consider bringing a real life example to court with 3D printing. Say you have a patent case dealing with intricate parts of a machine. Those parts can now be printed out in plastic using a device the size of a desktop printer. This technology has been around for a few decades, but because of its cost has been employed mostly in high-dollar “bet-the-company” cases. Now that prices have dropped for this emerging technology, we expect its use in the courtroom to grow in the future.

The “Twitter Effect.” Jurors who are frequent Twitter users, or consumers of similar social media, place a high premium on the economy of language. Think of the abbreviated language used in many text messages. While quality trial graphics have always used few words, pressure to further pare text in them will only increase. Try to find a good balance between too much information and not enough.

 

Adam B.

By:  Adam Bloomberg, Managing Director -Visual Communications