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In the high-stakes world of trial presentations, hiring the right trial technician or hot seater can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. These are not usually your Litigation Graphics experts (see Why Trial Tech ≠ Litigation Graphics). Before making this crucial decision, it's important to have 15 key conversations with potential candidates to ensure they have the skills, experience, and demeanor necessary to support your legal team effectively. From discussing their technical expertise and familiarity with courtroom procedures to assessing their ability to handle high-pressure situations and work collaboratively with your attorneys, these conversations are essential in finding the perfect fit for your trial team. By taking the time to thoroughly vet and communicate with potential trial technicians or hot seaters, you can feel confident in your decision and maximize your chances of success in the courtroom. To pinpoint the perfect match for your team, here are 15 key conversations that should be had, presented in no specific order.: 1. Availability: Finding the right trial technician or hot seater can be daunting, with availability often serving as the biggest challenge. The top professionals in this field are typically booked months in advance, making it crucial to plan ahead and secure their services well in advance. When time is of the essence, turning to a reputable firm like Persuadius can be invaluable, as we have a wide network of experienced trial technicians ready to support your legal team at a moment's notice. By tapping into our resources, you can ensure that you have access to a pool of highly skilled professionals who can help you navigate the complexities of trial presentations with confidence and expertise. See Good Luck Finding a (Good) Trial Technician in May or October. 2. Local: Finding a local trial technician is often a top priority for most trial teams — often inexplicably so, as far as I'm concerned. The convenience of having them nearby can be helpful, allowing for seamless communication and collaboration. But for less than the cost of one hour of your time, you can have them in the hotel where your war room is located. While it's important to prioritize skill and expertise over proximity, having a local trial technician can offer added benefits, such as being readily available for on-site support and minimizing logistical challenges. They might also have experience in the courthouse where your trial will be held. Sometimes, they might even know the clerk, which can be truly helpful.

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I'm absolutely thrilled to announce the release of Persuadius's latest free litigation e-book, The Opening Statement Toolkit v2. Version 1 (2015) was our most popular ebook of all time, with many litigators telling me, "This is essential reading." You may now download this new book without strings attached by clicking here. In this 271-page book, you will find 80 articles curated from Persuadius's massive collection of posts related to litigation and persuasion. Each article relates to opening statements in some way. From organizing the opening to the use of storytelling techniques to persuade, the book contains an amazing array of tips that will prove valuable to the novice litigator and the veteran alike.

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When presenting your case in court, demonstrative evidence (interchangeably referred to as litigation graphics or trial graphics) can be a powerful tool to help convey complex information to a judge or jury. Demonstrative evidence includes visual aids, physical objects, and multimedia presentations that help illustrate key points in a case. Here are 11 timely tips for effectively using demonstrative evidence in trial: 1. Keep it simple: Remember that less is often more when creating demonstrative evidence. Keep your visuals clear and concise, focusing on all key points of your case. Avoid cluttering your presentation with unnecessary details that could confuse or distract the audience. See Litigator & Litigation Consultant Value Added: A "Simple" Final Product 2. Use a variety of formats: Consider using a mix of visual aids, physical objects, and multimedia presentations to keep your audience engaged. Different formats can help reinforce your message and cater to various learning styles. See 5 Ways to Apply Active Teaching Methods for Better Persuasion 3. Call Persuadius: Many organizations and publications have voted us the best demonstrative evidence provider in the country. Contact us at 800.847.9330 or contact@persuadius.com. See also Why Work with Persuadius?

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If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you may have let some amazing posts slip under your radar. With over 12 years of blog posts and an impressive 850 entries, it’s easy to miss a few hidden gems. That’s why we’ve compiled this curated list of captivating blog posts that deserve recognition.

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80% of jury trials are won or lost in the opening statement. 80%!!!!!! If you lose to your opponent in opening statements, your chances of winning the case become very slim. Over the past 25 years, I have participated in the drafting of hundreds of opening statements. Sometimes, it's 20% me (and others) and 80% first chair trial counsel; sometimes, it's the other way around. No matter what, it is always a collaborative process. And it's one of the things I enjoy most about my job. Reflecting on these 25 years, I offer twenty-one tips for writing and presenting a winning opening: Simplify, simplify, simplify. The opening statement can’t be too simple. Many people say ninth grade is your audience, but I would suggest sixth grade. Since those of us in the legal industry tend to hang around smart people all the time, writing or speaking at that level is hard. The only way to do it, unless you happen to have a very patient sixth grader on hand, is through practice in front of a trial consultant. See Litigator & Litigation Consultant Value Added: A "Simple" Final Product Tell a story. We have many storytelling resources, specifically Storytelling for Litigators and The Opening Statement Tool Kit. My colleagues and I have spent years putting these FREE guidebooks together, and there's nothing else like them. See also 5 Ways to Maximize Persuasion During Opening Statements - Part 2 I am often asked how long my opening statement should be. I think your opening statement should be less than 45 minutes. Nothing is magical about that number, but I feel it's about as long as people want to pay attention to something. It's no accident that many shows and college classes are offered in 50-minute segments. When was the last time you didn't fidget with your phone during a full-length movie? Sidebar: I feel like there should be a list of movies that are easy to watch while playing on your phone.

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During his lifetime, I often reached out to Steve Jobs, the ex-CEO and co-founder of Apple, seeking business insights. While he never replied, I always sensed a shared perspective. I am confident that his guidance would have always emphasized the importance of prioritizing quality to attract the ideal clientele. This principle held true during the inception of Animators at Law, which later evolved into A2L Consulting and now continues as Persuadius. My deep-rooted admiration for Apple dates back to before the groundbreaking launch of the Mac in 1984. Through thick and thin, my unwavering love for Macs and the company has been a constant. I attribute a significant portion of my success to the Mac, as its accessibility to graphics empowered me to delve into courtroom animation while in law school in the early 1990s. This initial spark later blossomed into establishing a trial graphics firm, which then transitioned into a jury consulting enterprise, a trial technology firm and ultimately a litigation consulting powerhouse.

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Discover how utilizing litigation graphics can significantly impact the outcome of a trial and captivate the jury's attention. The Power of Visual Communication in the Courtroom In the courtroom, visual communication plays a crucial role in presenting complex information in a clear and compelling manner. By using litigation graphics, attorneys can effectively convey their arguments and evidence to the jury, helping them understand the case more easily. Visuals have a powerful impact on human perception and memory. Studies have shown that juries remember information better when it is presented visually rather than verbally. This makes litigation graphics an essential tool for attorneys to enhance the jury's understanding and retention of key facts and arguments. Additionally, visuals can evoke emotions and create a stronger connection with the audience. By incorporating compelling images, charts, and diagrams, attorneys can engage the jury on a deeper level and make a lasting impression. The power of visual communication in the courtroom cannot be underestimated. Litigation graphics provide attorneys with a powerful tool to convey complex information effectively, enhance understanding and retention, and create a lasting impact on the jury. Types of Litigation Graphics Attorneys can use various types of litigation graphics to support their arguments and present evidence. Some common examples include: - Timelines: Litigation timelines effectively illustrate the chronological sequence of events and highlight key dates and milestones in the case. - Charts and Graphs: Litigation charts and graphs are useful for presenting statistical data, comparisons, and trends. They can make complex information more accessible and understandable for the jury.

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I often talk about what not to do, but sometimes, I must remember to mention what you should do to achieve success at trial. In honor of leap year 2024, I have written this article offering 29 tips for successful trial preparation and execution. You can use this list as a checklist to compare yourself to your peers. I did not develop these ideas alone. Instead, they come from my experience working with the best of you over the past 30 years. 1. Conduct a mock trial. The very best litigators always conduct a mock trial when at least $10 million is at stake. Mock trials are a critical part of the Persuadius service offerings. If you want to discuss one, I invite you to email me (ken@persuadius.com) or call me (1-800-847-9330) or, ideally, fill out a client conflict check form by clicking the purple button in the upper right corner of this page. Only three people, including me, see those. 2. Conduct more than one mock trial. The ideal number is three, and that's precisely what I have observed the best trial lawyers do. It's not always affordable, but more than one mock is mandatory for cases with $25 million or more at stake. The only thing that varies is the investment in each mock trial. If $100 million or more is at stake, every mock should have every investment possible (i.e., a proper mock facility, a two-day or three-day mock, live witnesses, opening and closing statements, etc.). 3. Collaborate with litigation consultants who bring experience and insights to trial preparation. With a track record of handling hundreds of trials, we have witnessed exceptional and lackluster attorney performances. We aim to share valuable knowledge and advice, not lecture or boast about expertise. Drawing on the collective wisdom of countless cases, we strive to support you in crafting a solid and effective trial strategy. Litigation consultants can be exceptionally helpful when developing your opening statement. 4. Build a solid opening statement. In 30 years, I haven't seen anything to convince me that the opening statement is not the most essential part of the case. Some studies say that 80% of jurors make a decision about who will win after hearing opening statements. When done correctly, it should take months to develop an opening. It should be tested many times in whatever way your client can afford. We've written extensively about this. This topic is wonderfully covered in our opening statement toolkit ebook. See The Opening Statement Toolkit.

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Discover the top blunders that litigators make in their trial presentations and learn how to avoid them for a successful outcome. 1. Overloading slides with text and information One common mistake that litigators make in presentations is overloading slides with too much text and information. This can overwhelm the judge and jury and make it difficult for them to focus on key points. It's important to keep slides concise and use visuals to support the content. Additionally, overcrowded slides can detract from the overall visual appeal of the presentation. See 12 Ways to Eliminate "But I Need Everything On That PowerPoint Slide" and How Much Text on a PowerPoint Slide is Too Much? 2. Ignoring the importance of visual appeal Visual appeal plays a crucial role in capturing the audience's attention and conveying information effectively. Ignoring this aspect can result in a dull and unengaging presentation. Litigators should strive to use high-quality visuals, relevant images, and effective design elements to enhance the overall appeal of their slides. Remember, a visually appealing presentation can leave a lasting impression on the audience. See Trial Graphics Dilemma: Why Can't I Make My Own Slides? (Says Lawyer) and Do Professionally Designed PowerPoint Slides Get Better Results?

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I have the privilege of working with some of the most skilled trial lawyers in the country. They are an impressive group, possessing extensive knowledge of the law, unwavering work ethic, and expertise in the courtroom. In addition, they have an intangible charisma that allows them to command a room the moment they enter. Great trial lawyers can establish a magnetic rapport with judges and jurors that is awe-inspiring and hard to explain. As a trial consultant, we should observe this connection and let it propel us to victory. Because of this natural charisma, many top trial lawyers worry that when they use PowerPoint slides to supplement their opening statements, judges and jurors may lose the personal connection they have worked their whole lives to learn. They point out, or I observe, that judges' and jurors' attention is often still fixed on the screen, even if they want to move on to the point not included in the slides. Should the jurors continue focusing on the screen or shift their attention to the lawyer? I know what we want them to do, and all too often, they do the opposite. This is no trivial concern. There is something called the split attention effect, where audiences need help figuring out where to look and end up not remembering anything. There's also a closely related redundancy effect describing when lawyers show and read text. Again, the audiences remember less than they would have had you shown or read the text. You are not alone if you do this. I counsel on this topic very often.

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Discover why using bullet points in PowerPoint presentations can hinder your ability to persuade and learn powerful tips to enhance your presentations. The Problem with Bullet Points: How They Kill Persuasion Bullet points have long been a staple of PowerPoint presentations. However, their overuse can actually hurt your ability to persuade and engage your judge/jury. Bullet points are often used as a crutch, allowing presenters to simply read off the slide instead of creating a compelling narrative. This can lead to a lack of connection with the judge and jury and a diminished impact of your message. Additionally, bullet points can make your presentation feel cluttered and overwhelming, making it difficult for your judge & jury to focus on key points. We have written extensively about this in articles such as, Still Think Persuasion is About Talking While Showing Bullet Points? and 12 Reasons Bullet Points Are Bad (in Trial Graphics or Anywhere) and Why Reading Your Litigation PowerPoint Slides Hurts Jurors and The Redundancy Effect, PowerPoint and Legal Graphics. They are wonderful resources all by themselves. To overcome the problem with bullet points, consider alternative ways to present information. Instead of listing out your main points in bullet form, try using visuals, storytelling techniques, effective data visualization, and memorable quotes and anecdotes to drive your message. Above all else, never read your slide aloud

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Trial Graphics and PowerPoint

PROS: PowerPoint is a versatile tool that many lawyers use for creating trial graphics. It can be used to create visual aids that can help present arguments in a clear and concise way. While there are many tools available for creating trial graphics, PowerPoint is a popular choice due to its ease of use, flexibility, and accessibility. Using PowerPoint for trial graphics can help simplify complex concepts and make arguments more compelling. For instance, you can use PowerPoint to create timelines, charts, graphs, and other visuals that can help illustrate key points. This is particularly important in cases where multiple parties, complex facts, or technical details need to be presented to the jury.

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Understanding the Role of a Litigation Consultant A litigation consultant plays a crucial role in the legal process, providing expert advice and guidance to attorneys and their clients. They bring a unique set of skills and knowledge to the table, helping to navigate complex legal matters and improve the overall effectiveness of your case.

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Some trial graphics specialists are attorneys. Other trial graphics specialists are jury consultants. Some trial graphics people are trial technicians. But, there is a type of trial graphics specialist, like those at Persuadius, who work mostly in pairs. They prefer to either conceptualize or execute. Let's take a closer look at this pair of specialists. Understanding the role of trial graphics specialists Trial graphics specialists are professionals who specialize in creating visual aids and presentations for use in legal proceedings. While some may think their job is solely about making slides look visually appealing, their role goes far beyond that. Trial graphics specialists are responsible for translating complex legal concepts and information into clear and concise visuals that can be easily understood by judges, juries, and other participants in the courtroom. Sometimes that role is one person. More often than not, it is usually a pair of artists, one with legal training and one with more formal artistic training. Together, they form an amazing team.

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