Cogent Legal Blog

Statistical Proof that Legal Visuals Work to Persuade Jurors

Legal visuals work. We thought so, and now we have the statistical rigor of a controlled experiment to prove it. In a study comparing opening arguments delivered with and without simple PowerPoint visuals, mock jurors were persuaded more often when the slides were used. The study found effects on persuading

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How Lawyers Can and Must Learn Legal Tech and Social Media

“Luddite Lawyers Are Ethical Violations Waiting to Happen.” That’s the alarming headline on a great post earlier this week in Lawyerist.com by attorney Megan Zavieh, who specializes in defending attorneys under investigation by the California State Bar. She talks about how lawyers’ relationship to technology—and their obligation to understand it—have

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What Litigators Can Learn from a Well-Told Story of a T-Shirt

Professor Edward Tufte, the guru of information graphic design, advises his students to study the design of popular websites to learn techniques for conveying information quickly and efficiently. In today’s post, I’ll take Tufte’s advice and look at some of the techniques that NPR’s Planet Money reporting team used in creating an engaging page

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A Different Kind of Thanksgiving

On this day before Thanksgiving, I just couldn’t come up with a lot to say about informational graphics or litigation. I thought it best simply to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and to express my gratitude for Cogent Legal’s employees, clients, friends and family. At home, my family is preparing

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How to Help Jurors Understand Spatial Relationships

Good visual presentations enhance juror attention, cognition and retention in the courtroom. By providing comparisons and reference points familiar to the juror, demonstratives can help communicate difficult concepts and data. Understanding of spatial information (e.g., positions, sizes and movement) particularly benefits from graphical representation. In today’s blog post, we’ll explore

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A Great Opportunity to Learn Litigation Tech and Presentation Skills

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you have an interest in legal tech and litigation graphics. You likely know they’re important for any 21st-century case presentation. But you know less about how to get trouble-free and top-quality tech, demonstratives and litigation support. Maybe it feels too time consuming, too expensive

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Simplify and Emphasize in Litigation Graphics

In oral argument, a litigator has very limited time—she needs to hit the high points and move on. She must communicate enough information to convince the judge or jury of her argument, yet must avoid getting mired in details that will only confuse. Good litigation graphics can counter this time crunch by allowing an

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An Infographic Lesson for Litigators

We recommend to our readers a recent New Yorker article by Gareth Cook entitled Why Abraham Lincoln Loved Infographics. Cook’s New Yorker article discusses Lincoln’s “slave map” as an early example of an infographic. Infographics—such as maps and charts that visualize data—are a powerful communication tool for litigators. As Cook explains, infographics take “information that is not easy for

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How to Build the Visual Foundation of Your Case

We all know by now that we live in a world in which information is delivered visually, and that people learn best when they have visual aids. Attorneys who head to court with demonstratives to show as well as tell their case are at a distinct advantage over attorneys who

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The Value of Trial Graphics Recognized

As former trial attorneys here at Cogent Legal, we know the value of good trial graphics. Our clients appreciate and understand the need for high-quality in-court presentation too. Recently, a judge in Nevada joined the chorus appreciating the worth of trial graphics. As reported in the Las Vegas Review Journal on September 25, 2013, Clark

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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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