Author: Marie Roberts
“If seeing is believing, then visual evidence offers the best foundation for juror persuasion and belief.”
According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners. That means that 65% of your jury at any given trial are going to be visual learners too. Why does this matter? If you communicate with your jury in their natural learning language, they’re more likely to understand your perspective. What’s more, it’s proven that seeing leads to feeling which in turn leads to remembering and finally believing that recollection. Even better, there is data to support the idea that people’s brains process images 60 times faster than words, allowing you to efficiently communicate your case and keep the jury engaged.
The Right Graphics Increase Juror’s Understanding
Many attorneys are either naturally reading/writing learners or they become that way during law school. There is no right or wrong way to learn, but you want to think outside of what works for you and your trial team. That’s where an experienced litigation graphics specialist can look at your case as a whole and bring your theme to the next level of juror understanding and retention.
I’m not talking about basic bullet point slides here, and I am not talking about inundating the jury with visuals, which can also be problematic. I am proposing that creating the right graphics to assist in telling your case theme can assist in the juror’s understanding and recollection of your case. These graphics can include:
- Call-outs and document summaries
- Graphs and charts
- Key players diagrams
- Causation graphics
- Annotated maps
- Medical illustrations
Increasing a jury’s understanding is not always achieved through powerful graphics, it’s important to use different modes of communication, so sometimes it is a demonstrative of a product, the good use of a flip chart during a cross examination, or even marking up the opponent’s demonstrative graphic on the Elmo live in front of the jury. A litigation support specialist can help you determine the types of graphics and communication to use and when it’s best to use them.
Plan Ahead: Bring in a Litigation Graphic Specialist Early
When your case is more complicated or the information is less straightforward it could be beneficial to work with a graphics specialist early on in your case. They can begin understanding your case theme and creating effective graphics that convey that theme.
But don’t wait too long to talk to them. If they are hired the night before openings, the best you can expect is a bullet list that looks pretty. See below the difference between the bullet list and the graphical representation of the bullet list. The graphic representation makes a significantly larger impression and increases understanding of the concepts that are being conveyed in the bullet points.
Graphics can certainly assist juror understanding in any case, no matter the simplicity, but it may be beneficial to bring the support in earlier rather than later for a full utilization of their skills and contributions to assist in showing the jury your case.
Bottom line: when you want to look professional and prepared, make an impact with your opening statement and closing argument and ensure the jurors understand and remember your case, courtroom graphics can make the difference.
Before – Text Slide
After – Graphic Slide