The best presenters integrate their spoken words and visual images. To achieve this, the attorney delivering an opening or closing argument must know what slide comes up next, and what she should say before and with the slide. While PowerPoint has an area for entering presenter notes, I often work with attorneys who are more comfortable with a written script. That script becomes more powerful and useful when it includes images of the slides that will be coming up. This enhanced script is what I call a Visual Script.
Cogent Legal Blog
Excel spreadsheets are powerful tools for business and financial analysis, but spreadsheets can be difficult to understand and to explain. In trial, we often help litigators present spreadsheets and the underlying data. Here are some tips to think about for your next trial to make your data more digestible. Using
The best trial attorneys quote liberally from the trial transcript in closing argument. Particularly in a long trial, you need to remind jurors of the key evidence they heard and how it leads to the verdict you want. For example, in a recent asbestos wrongful death trial in Alameda County
If you have not heard, California recently amended the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 2034.415 to read as follows: An expert described in subdivision (b) of Section 2034.210 whose deposition is noticed pursuant to Section 2025.220 shall, no later than three business days before his or her deposition, produce
Attorneys should avoid the need to apologize for unreadable text in their timelines by planning ahead, editing timelines carefully and presenting electronic versions of the timeline.
For those of you interested in more information on the use of drones and laser scans for capturing scenes, I recommend you check out my recent article in Plaintiff Magazine, which can be found here.
Some sources estimate that as of 2009 there were over 30 million surveillance cameras in the United States recording over 4 billion hours of images per week — let alone the number of images/videos taken by a vast number of high-definition cameras, embedded within every modern-day smartphone! I certainly have no idea if such
77,000 photos!!! I admit to being shocked when the key expert on a recent construction defect case told us that over the last couple of years he and his staff had taken over 77,000 electronic photos of the scene. The photographic documentation started when the plaintiff identified defects in 8-
Many attorneys rely on Google Earth as the primary source for finding visual information for specific locations, all over the world, involved in litigation (see my prior post discussing how to use Google Earth for images and obtaining archival images). However, when finding great images, or determining precise locations based on GPS coordinates, the next question is
People often ask why I stopped litigating cases and created a litigation graphics firm specializing in visual communication for attorneys in mediation and trial. The answer is simple: the work is creative, fun and very satisfying. There is no better feeling than taking a great deal of complex information from an attorney
From “Attack of the Drones” to 3D Modeling for Litigation Graphics (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Drone)
When you hear the word “drone,” it’s hard not to think about the unmanned attack drones flown from airbases and used to hunt down suspected terrorists. The term conjures up something close to the steely death machine of the Terminator seeking its prey. However, despite that reputation, drones are actually
When you’re preparing a case for trial, a great deal of time goes into developing the major themes of your case. Sometimes the case is stunningly complicated, such as in a business dispute that takes place over years with many interlocking claims at issues. Sometimes it’s as simple as a
With the introduction of larger screens for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, attorneys now have another powerful tool in the world of presentation equipment. Whether planning a presentation for court or mediation, it’s worth trying to use your iPhone while presenting. Having your phone in the palm of
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Who we are
Morgan C. Smith, president and founder of Cogent Legal, is an attorney who litigated complex, high-value cases for almost two decades.
Michael Kelleher is a registered patent attorney and former partner at the firm of Folger Levin & Kahn where he litigated IP and complex business cases for 16 years.
Andrew Walker is the Co-Executive Director of the Sacramento office, and an attorney with many years' experience in mock trial work.
Deep Athwal is Co-Executive Director in Sacramento, and also an attorney with extensive mock trial experience.