"Long before the first formal business was established...the six most powerful words in any language were 'Let me tell you a story'."
-Mathews & Wacker
The bottom line is, if you are explaining, you are losing. Using graphics helps you quickly move past explaining by burning images into the minds of jurors to help them quickly understand complex issues in your case. They are easy to digest and more memorable. By the end of your trial, your jury is going to be juggling lots of data in their heads. Simplifying the process helps ensure that your points are not lost.
In this case, there was a dispute over which expert had the post-collision position of the vehicles in the correct position. We had a couple of grainy stills from police dash cams, so I recreated the scene in 3D and showed the different perspectives of the vehicles, then finished with an overhead from the competing expert reports.
In the other case, there was an issue over whether a warning sign placed at the entrance of the facility was in plain view of anyone entering the construction site.
Time lines and demonstrative graphics:
Here, the defense doctors argued that the baby's heart rate was not in the danger zone for very long, and was mostly within appropriate limits. So, I took the fetal heart strips and put them three up on a page and put a red line at the danger zone (tachycardia is 160 beats per minute for babies at this gestational period), and colored everything above 160 in red and everything below 160 in green. Debate over.
The other case is a timeline showing the key elements leading up to a claim and a cumulative view of the steps the insurance company took to investigate the claim before claiming they did not have enough information and the client did not cooperate in providing information.
This timeline was used to show the discrepancy between a plaintiff's pre-trial medical bills and the amount of bills claimed would be needed in the future. We represented the defendant whose employee was speeding without a license in the wrong lane. Defense verdict.
The other chart was used in a case involving a serious injury to a child. The defendant agreed that the child would need some type of live-in care, but someone with actual medical training would be too expensive to them and would be overkill for her situation. Our position was that she would never enjoy the level of comfort and safety we all feel every day and someone with more medical training would not be overkill, it would just bring her up to baseline.
Medical Illustrations from Radiology films:
These graphics were created from the actual x-ray/CT scans. In the foot case, we had an x-ray that was difficult to interpret for the lay person because of all of the neighboring bones in the foot. I traced the outline of the bones and colorized it to more clearly isolate the issue in our client's foot. The underlying x-ray is underneath the illustration and we were able to toggle back and forth between the x-ray and the illustration to show the accuracy of the illustration.
The two 3D animations were created from importing the CT scans (comes up as slices across whatever is being scanned), and combining the 2D slices back into one 3D model that we can rotate and reslice to get the angle we wanted. Think of getting a loaf of sliced bread, and instead of looking at each slice of bread separately, putting the loaf of bread back together and reslicing it in the direction we wanted.
Overlays are helpful in putting two different sets of data and comparing them in a different context. Here, I took a drawing made at a police station interview and superimposed it over a 3D model of the crime scene. In the other image, I took an expert report measuring the difference in height between steps and superimposed it over the photo of the actual steps.