Laying the foundation and getting evidence admitted is a process. And once evidence is admitted, there’s a right way to exhibit or display it in court. Here are a few pointers on how to exhibit documents in evidence.
Forget the Projector
Sure, there are still many lawyers who continue to use an overhead projector to display documents. You’ve probably seen them clumsily flip through their trial binder, carefully select the page they want, then toy with an antique projector device known as the Elmo.
They turn on the power, wait for the lighting mechanism to warm up, then fuss with the aspect ratio. The judge gets bored and tunes out, the jury starts thinking about dinner and how much longer this will take, and the client starts to question why she ever hired this lawyer. The fact is, there are times when the projector may make sense, but not many. There are much better methods of exhibiting documents in this day and age.
High-Definition TV Display
Perhaps the simplest way to display a document to the jury is to have your exhibits saved in a document management system and have a computer connected to a TV. This way, you can easily search through your documents to find the exact page you want to display—then project it to a TV that shows the document in large, high-definition color. Nothing beats letting the jury watch documents and videos and pictures all on the same screen.
Storyboards can be extremely effective during trial presentations. They are best for the following situations:
- Creating a chronology you will reference several times throughout the trial
- Highlighting elements of a photo, crash report, or other document you want to keep referencing
- Exhibiting lists or burdens of proof that you will discuss several times
- Anything else you may want to leave open and visible throughout the case
Illustration & Animation
Modern technology allows us to incorporate documents into slideshows and photo arrays. That way, you can seamlessly move from a quick video animation of an accident to the crash report, to a key medical document, all within a single video or presentation.
While documents can be crucial to your case, supporting them with the right visuals can make a big difference. Animations and illustrations can be a great way to supplement your documents to make a greater impact on a judge or jury than simply presenting a plain document.
Schedule Litigation Services
If you need help with depositions, animations, trial presentations, document management, or any other element of getting your case ready for trial, contact AWR today. Our dedicated support staff will help you make a great impression at your next trial!