Cogent Legal Blog

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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Supreme Court: Computer-Implemented Abstract Ideas Were Not Patent Eligible

This post provides an annotated “e-brief” style hyperlinked copy of annotations on the Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. In the decision, the Court held that the claims were not patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. section 101 because they claimed abstract ideas, and did not include an inventive concept beyond the abstract idea.

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iPads in the Hands of Your Judge and Jurors

Civil jurors in a Los Angeles court are using special iPads to review admitted trial exhibits during the trial. As I observed in a KPCC interview about iPads in court, I expect to see more iPads in coming years in the hands of judges, attorneys and jurors. The iPad is a great, easy-to-use tool for presenting and consuming content (which is exactly what happens in courts). This post includes a demonstration of a custom-made iPad app made to illustrate a patent.

My partner, Morgan Smith, has written many posts about iPads, and their advantages for attorneys. The iPad allows an attorney to easily control a slide presentation projected onto a courtroom screen for the judge or jury. Using an app such as TrialPad or Trial Director for iPad allows an attorney to present documents, deposition video and other evidence on the screen.

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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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