Cogent Legal Blog

Navigating Your Courtroom Presentation

This article won the LitigationWorld Pick of the Week award. The editors of LitigationWorld, a free weekly email newsletter for litigators and others who work in litigation, give this award to one article every week that they feel is a must-read for this audience. “Good on her feet”—you’ll often hear

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How Tech and Outsourcing Are Altering the Legal Profession

A week ago, I was invited to Portland, Oregon, to present at the Federal District of Oregon Conference on “Innovations in Law: Science and Technology.” The conference explored the intersection of law and technology from many different angles. It utilized the Ignite method of presentation that involves each participant having six minutes

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Animating the Hypothetical Negotiation of a Reasonable Royalty in Patent Litigation

Good litigation graphics convey a message quickly and clearly. The example animation in today’s post supports an argument that plaintiff’s claim for a “reasonable royalty” in a patent case was unreasonable because the claim equaled the full value of the defendant company at the time of the “hypothetical negotiation” back in 2008. Here is a short (18-second) version

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Going From “Start Up” to “Best Of”

I have some great news to announce that makes me very proud: Cogent Legal was voted “the best presentation provider” in Northern California for 2013 in The Recorder’s annual poll of law firms and legal services. It’s truly an honor to receive recognition like this when it feels like we’re

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Displaying Patent Language in Patent Litigation

As lawyers, we are always arguing about documents, and we often need to display those documents in court. In patent cases, displaying documents is particularly important because the patent’s language describes the invention. In today’s post, I’ll talk about how to display this language in an understandable, readable and trustworthy form for the judge or jury.

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Ideas and Advice for Demonstratives In Employment Litigation

I recently had the pleasure of giving a presentation on demonstrative graphics for the State Bar of California’s Employment Law Division in San Francisco. In giving this presentation, I wanted to make sure it was not simply an ad for Cogent Legal, but that it gave practical and strategic advice

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Why Animating an Internet Patent Can Help Your Case

Good animations can make difficult patent language and complicated patent diagrams come to life. An animation can make a bored judge or juror wake up, pay attention and engage with your argument. For example, in defending a patent case, animating the simple and limited scope of what is actually described in the patents can

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Timeline Design for Litigation: When to Use a Static Timeline

“I need a timeline.” This is how litigators often start in asking for legal graphics. This start to the graphics conversation makes sense because timelines are perhaps the most common type of legal graphic, and the most familiar to many litigators. This starting point also makes sense in light of

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Try E-Briefs As Part of Your Hearing or Trial Presentation

For your next trial or important hearing, you should seriously consider using an e-brief to help the judge (and the judge’s clerk) navigate and understand your argument. Cogent Legal recently helped a team of patent litigators prepare for and present at a combined summary judgment and claim construction hearing. E-briefs were an important part of that presentation to the court. If you’ve ever tried to read a 4-foot stack of summary judgment briefing in paper form, you may appreciate the utility of an easy-to-use electronic copy on your computer that lets you jump back and forth between argument, evidence and authority. Giving the judge and the clerk the ability to easily explore and understand your argument in chambers using your e-brief can be the key to success (particularly when your e-brief is submitted with an electronic copy of your hearing presentation).

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How to Create an Opening Statement Using Graphic Immersion

I recently  had the pleasure of doing a presentation for the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association on technology in the courtroom. My co-presenters (Miles Cooper of Rouda, Feder, Tietjen & McGuinn and Jeff Smith from Abramson Smith Waldsmith, LLP) and I decided it would be more fun and inspiring to show the final

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How to Escape PowerPoint Video Hell

I’ve been thinking a great deal about PowerPoint recently, and not in a good way. At Cogent Legal, we have been working hard on a number of cases that involve extensive use of PowerPoint for the client, and I often feel that getting PowerPoint to do anything involving multimedia is

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A Few More Apps That Make My Life Easier

I’m getting ready to head to Vegas for the annual American Society of Trial Consultants conference. I appreciate networking with this group because their members are full of ideas and new information on trial research, strategy and technology. Check out ASTC’s publication The Jury Expert and their blog aggregator, The

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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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