Cogent Legal Blog

Adobe Shape: an iPhone App for Quick Vector Drawings

Vector graphics allow you to expand and zoom in on details without pixelation and loss of clarity. This post has a video demonstration of a new free iPhone app, Adobe Shape, which makes it very easy to create quick vector graphics. With this free app, you simply point your iPhone camera at an object (or choose a photo on your camera roll) and the app creates a vector graphic that you can then use in Adobe Illustrator or on other Adobe apps

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Plan Your Oral Argument With Integrated Visuals

This blog post uses video of a mock deposition and motion argument to review lessons including start thinking about your visual trial presentation before you take depositions; think of visual analogies to explain complex concepts; and give yourself time to edit visuals, just as you give yourself time to edit your briefing.

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When Trial Graphics Give Crucial Context to a Case

Trial graphics can go far beyond photographs to enhance juror understanding. This post discusses graphics used to display an unguarded chain-and-sprocket mechanism within a sugar silo. As the attorney stated, I don’t think the jury could understand what happened without the graphic displays.

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Illustrate Digitally to Show the Details Clearly

This post discusses how to avoid the problem of ugly pixelated blow-ups and projections by having images redrawn with vector graphics. Vector graphics like those used in Adobe Illustrator will stay clear and readable when magnified to very large sizes.

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Tips for Better Presenting Photographs in Court

Well-presented photographs are powerful tools for litigators. In this post, I’ll share some samples that show how we’ve helped litigators use photographs in court, along with a number of tips for getting the most from your photographs in litigation.

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How Storyboards Helped Win a Multimillion-Dollar Verdict

Storyboards can be a great option for your case presentation. Storyboards can be as effective (and sometimes more effective) than an animation. Additionally, storyboards inevitably cost less than animations, since doing a storyboard is generally the first step of an animation, and then a significant amount of time (and money) is spent actually animating and rendering the concepts. I also have found that storyboards are easier to get admitted into evidence, since judges see them as simply helping explain expert or witness testimony.

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Beautiful Graphs of Large Data Sets for Litigation

Numbers, and the interpretation of numbers, play a big role in litigation. Presenting numerical data in court often requires a good graph of the numbers to show changes and trends in the numbers. Litigators or litigants may be able to make simple graphs themselves using Excel. However, more complicated graphs benefit from expert tools like Adobe Illustrator.

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Remote Tech Help for Busy Attorneys

Many attorneys make limited use of technology. As a paralegal friend recently lamented to me, “the most advanced organizational technology many attorneys use is a binder.” With remote screen sharing software, we help attorneys improve their use of technology.

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The Need for Animations to Show Injury in PI Cases

Regardless of whether liability is an issue, visually explaining to the jury precisely how an injury occurred is a crucial part of a plaintiff’s case presentation. Often, plaintiff’s attorneys begin an admitted-liability case by presenting the medical treatment the plaintiff received. In effect, this marginalizes the most dramatic aspect of the case: the incident.

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Supreme Court Creates Copyright Uncertainty in Aereo Decision

In the 6-3 ABC v. Aereo decision, the Supreme Court made a mess of copyright law and sowed uncertainty for technology companies by trying to plug a loophole. As Justice Scalia put it in his dissent, the Court put in place “an improvised standard (‘looks-like-cable-TV’) that will sow confusion for years to come.” This post presents an annotated e-brief style version of the opinion with my notes.

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Who we are

Morgan Smith

Morgan Smith

Morgan C. Smith, president and founder of Cogent Legal, is an attorney who litigated complex, high-value cases for almost two decades.

Michael Kelleher

Michael Kelleher

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

Andrew Walker

Andrew Walker is the Co-Executive Director of the Sacramento office, and an attorney with many years' experience in mock trial work.

Deep Athwal

Deep Athwal

Deep Athwal is Co-Executive Director in Sacramento, and also an attorney with extensive mock trial experience.

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