News, views and tips on litigation graphics, trial strategy and the law.

“As A Good Trial Attorney, You Always Must Have a Backup Plan”

I stood at the podium in front of my computer and looked out at the 400 or so people assembled to honor the 15th annual SFTLA Trial Lawyer of the Year nominees. Seconds earlier, the video presentation of the award nominees that Cogent Legal had produced—a 20-minute video I had spent many hours working on—stopped working and cut to a blue screen midway through its airing, with all the guests in attendance watching.

Though inwardly my pulse was racing, I calmly and with a smile on my face told the assembled audience: “As a good trial attorney, you always must have a backup plan.” That got a good laugh, and I quickly proceeded to get a backup of the video playing. The presentation continued and was well-received in spite of that glitch.

I’ll give more detail in a bit on the technical difficulties that led to me standing in the glow of the spotlight, but that moment really reminded me of why we honor great trial attorneys like all the nominees at the event last night. [Continue reading]

5 Tech Tips for Document Review, Production and Use at Trial

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On Wednesday, April 9, I gave a webinar on technology tips for document review, production and use at trial for the Law Practice Management and Technology Section of the California State Bar. We're going to be posting a few of the tips on the blog if … [Continue reading]

Don’t Let Your Trial Graphics Go Beyond Advocacy to Misleading


Looking through the Yahoo news feed yesterday, I came upon an article about a misleading graph used by a major news organization. With a little bit of additional research, I found many additional examples of news graphs and charts that are … [Continue reading]

Litigation Tech Tip: Clean Up Hard Returns From the Text of Scanned PDF Docs

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For today's litigation technology tip, I have a quick way to strip out unwanted hard returns from the text of Acrobat documents. Litigators often need to copy text from the image of one document (e.g., from an opponent's discovery response) and … [Continue reading]

Q&A with Derek Ryan on Business Development and Litigation Graphics

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If you're a partner at a small firm, you know that every new position that's created and filled matters exponentially more than a single hiring at a big firm. Payroll will spike with each new addition, and everyone will work closely together. It's … [Continue reading]

Animations and Demonstratives—Lessons From a Murder Trial


Judicial opinions, even unpublished ones, can teach us about using animations and demonstratives in court. Today, I'll review decisions from a murder trial that illustrate three important lessons for visual aids: (1) Tie animations or other visual … [Continue reading]

How to Organize Digital Copies of Your Trial Exhibits

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Going to trial requires planning and attention to detail. Jurors may not see the details of your plan, but they will appreciate attorneys who move quickly in trial and show respect for the jurors' valuable time and attention. Good pre-trial … [Continue reading]

A Visual Story About Litigation Technology


I will be presenting some webinars soon about litigation technology (click here for info and to register), and in those webinars, I want to tell the story of litigation technology in a visual way. I hope to avoid the standard e-discovery funnel or … [Continue reading]

Using Biomechanical Animations To Prove Your Case

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I'm often asked by attorneys, "Why spend the money on making any visuals showing how the incident occurred if it's an admitted liability case?" My question back is, does the other side agree completely with the causation of all injuries, and the … [Continue reading]

Upcoming Legal Tech Webinars: Tips for Attorneys to Use Databases & iPads for Litigation

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Morgan and I are hosting webinars on Wednesday, March 5, and Thursday, March 6, that we hope attorneys will find helpful for everyday practice and for trial. The first is "Technology Tips for Using Databases to Understand, Develop and Control Your … [Continue reading]