following are tools, solutions, tips, tricks,
secrets, and best practices for litigation support
professionals. Be sure to share this page with
your colleagues so they can benefit from them
Support Web Resources
Influence of Graphics in Litigation Support
People think using pictures. Before we can talk,
we learn through seeing and responding to our
surroundings. Dr. Lynell Burmark, Ph.D. Associate
at the Thornburg Center for Professional Development
and author of several books and papers on visual
literacy, asserted that ideas and concepts not
associated with an image are harder to process
by our long-term memory. In short, words are processed
by short-term memory, and images are immediately
tucked away in our long-term memory. If this assertion
is correct (and many other researchers have proven
so), then using visuals for trial support will
help the jury and judge better retain and understand
information that can be complex, especially if
they are unfamiliar with the subject matter or
you are describing a detailed crime scene. Consider
- In the Boston Globe article,
"Courtroom Graphics Come of Cyber-Age,"
author Sacha Pfeiffer found that "new technologies—and
a new willingness in legal circles to embrace
them—have taken the use of visual images
in the courtroom to a level unimaginable even
a decade ago. The result is a slow but significant
shift in the way many trial lawyers, who historically
have relied largely on their verbal skills to
sway juries, try cases ... More prosecutors
see high-tech graphics not as a luxury, but
as a necessity."
- "The days when lawyers
could go to court with just a manila folder,
a blackboard and chalk, or a marker and a big
drawing pad are gone, [Attorney] Letro says.
Now, you try not to let the other side have
better courtroom graphics than you." ("For
Some Lawyer's Presentations, Image Is Everything,"
Wall Street Journal [February 1, 2000])
- Research at the 3M Corporation
concluded that we process visuals 60,000 times
faster than text.
- According to Dale Carnegies Training,
graphics allow the audience to follow at their
own speed because visuals accommodate all learning
- It took 40% less time to explain
complex ideas with graphics. (Wharton School
- Graphics improved retention
by 38%. (Harvard University study)
This does not mean that graphic
communication is better than text. However, the
combination of graphics and words has a communicative
power that neither singularly possesses. J.R.
Levin said it best in A Transfer of Appropriate
Process Perspective of Pictures in Prose: "Pictures
interact with text to produce levels of comprehension
and memory that can exceed what is produced by
Litigation Support Graphics
When creating graphics, ask
yourself the following:
- What is the most important idea
or concept this graphic should relate? Does
it coincide with your position and/or argument?
- Who is your audience? Would
they understand specific terms or prefer an
- How do you want to say it? What
form of chart (area chart, illustration, timeline,
etc.) will best reach your audience and help
them to understand the idea/concept?
Rules for Creating Litigation Support Graphics
- All graphics
should play a specific role and have a reason
for being chosen and incorporated.
- Stay consistent.
- Show or say it correctly. Don't
try to be original.
- Keep it clean and simple. Too
much visual clutter can be overwhelming and
lose the primary objective of your message.
- Label elements directly to avoid
confusion. This rule is especially true if you
are introducing new image and ideas.
- Use recognizable imagery.
- Focus on your audience. Make
it easier for your audience to relate to the
events and/or subject matter.
Consistency throughout your communication
materials is the main reason to create a template
for your litigation presentations and maintain
a database of graphics. You don't want your audience
wondering why certain slides in a presentation
are colored differently (if there's no reason)
or why different illustrations are used to explain
the same concept. These differences will distract
from your argument/position.
To maintain a database of litigation
graphics and graphics associated with your law
firm, consider the following:
- On your server create a folder
specifically for graphics (primarily photographs,
illustrations, charts, and logos).
- Create subfolders for each graphic
type (i.e., Photos of Evidence, Illustrations
Concerning Patent Disputes, Corporate Logos,
Photos for Website).
- Inform everyone in your organization
of the availability of these images.
- Create a standards guide to
inform your associates when, where, and how
they can use these graphics. Include the following:
- Photo or illustration size limitations
- Type of communications in which to use
- Logo guides for size, colors, and style
- Stationery guidelines for your corporation
to ensure all materials representing your
firm are consistent
To create a template for litigation
and corporate presentations, use the following
guide. Open a blank document and populate it with
- Title slide template
- Background templates (be sure
to include all versions for different sections
or larger titles)
- Primary color
- Secondary color
- Tertiary color
- Color palette of boxes tinted with your
- Font and text styles
- Font style
- Font size (For graphics, use at least
12 pt. for best visibility when projected
on a screen)
- Font color
- Bullet styles
- Labeling styles
- Box styles (different boxes
for org charts, flow charts, benefits boxes,
- Arrow styles
- Line style (width and color)
- Logos for your firm or clients.
- Samples of graphic icons/photos
used in other graphics (e.g., blue cylinder
equals main database)
- Samples of graphic styles (area
charts, bar charts, etc., used within the presentation)
Support Graphic Solutions
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their ideas and words into clear, communicative,
- Presentation graphics
- Charts, graphs & timelines
- Pie charts
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- Area charts
- Gantt charts
- Before and after charts
- Cutaway diagrams
- Exploded diagrams
- Multimedia graphics
- Patent infringement graphics
- Medical graphics
- Process graphics
- Time lapse graphics
- Accident and crime scene graphics
- Any visual solution
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Custom Solutions for Legal Professionals
Your challenges are unique.
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Litigation Support Design Services
with Resonant Media
Billion Dollar Graphics and Resonant Media work
together to provide:
support graphic production (conceptualization
- Trial support
more about Resonant Media.)
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services are also available:
Conceptualization Training and Workshops
Custom Solutions for
Litigation Support Professionals
Fast Class Seminars