At Cogent Legal, we often help litigators with PowerPoint, and now we plan to share some of our PowerPoint secrets for litigators in a free webinar. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at noon Pacific, and you can register by clicking here. Here’s a short video preview of
Cogent Legal Blog
At Cogent Legal, we often help litigators with PowerPoint, and now we plan to share some of our PowerPoint secrets for litigators in a free webinar. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at noon Pacific.
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.
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.
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.
We all know the power of a well-done animation in front of a jury. Such animations can help visually explain concepts in moments instead of in hours. However, they can also be instrumental in settling a case. This post explains the process of developing an animation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I recommend Dragon voice recognition software for attorneys because it is so useful and so inexpensive ($101.03 today on Amazon for Premium version 12 for Windows). This blog post how I use dictation software for litigation, and show a video demonstration of how I get good results just using my laptop’s built-in microphone (no headset)!
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.
At the 2014 annual meeting of the San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Association, SFIPLA, a panel of judges shared their experiences and reflections on what works and what doesn’t work in a courtroom, and how to connect with juries and judges in patent trials and hearings.
To master the presentation of numbers, attorneys should learn some basic skills in Microsoft Excel, the computer program most often used in business for calculations. Numerical evidence in litigation often appears in Excel spreadsheets because witnesses often use Excel to record data and perform calculations. Attorneys who understand Excel will be able to obtain, manipulate and use this evidence to prove their case.
In this post, I’ll discuss some of why native Excel files are important, and provide a simplified video reenactment showing how Excel was used in a cross-examination of a witness in which the goal was to establish the results of an Excel calculation.
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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.
Tyler Weaver is the Executive Director of the Seattle Office, and was a litigator and partner at Hagens Berman in Seattle for more than 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.