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Tip #3: Choose Colors that Help Clarify Your Presentation

The colors you select for your presentation will influence how your audience interprets and remembers the facts of your case. In the case below, we created graphics to present numerous financial transactions. Our client, the trustee, wanted the judge to “see” what had taken place prior to the debtor filing for bankruptcy.  We selected colors that would enhance the audience’s retention of the facts (Red = Debt and Green = Money/Assets). Because there were so many entries, we created a magnetic timeline to allow the events to be revealed one at a time as the testimony unfolded. The area in red shows communications between the bank and the debtor that MEC’s loans in default must be repaid. The area below the timeline shows the debtor transferring all of the assets out of MEC.

MEC Timeline Phase II

A second magnetic chart was used with the timeline to show where each asset went after it was transferred out of MEC.                                                                    MEC Assets - Phase I   MEC Assets - Phase III

During the trial, the debtor’s attorney objected saying “there is too much red on that chart”, and the bankruptcy judge replied “it is what it is”.  The judge clearly associated the color red with the remaining debt that had been revealed over time. Click on the YouTube image below to see how both charts work together to tell the story.

Tip #2: When is a Computer Animation Your Best Option?

Computer Animations can be successfully used in a variety of legal settings. Bring your judge or jury to the scene without them ever leaving the courtroom. You control what your audience sees; keeping their focus on your point of view.

Below are a few ideas that illustrate when a computer animation is the best option.

Hurricane Katrina Animation

The Scene Has Changed

When a scene has changed or no longer exists as it did at the time of the incident, it can be recreated as a 3D environment, and the event can be animated and shown in the courtroom.

Car Accident at Railroad Crossing

It’s Too Dangerous

If an accident is too dangerous to re-enact, it can be safely recreated as a computer animation. Once the 3D environment is complete, the camera can be moved and additional views of the same event can be seen by the judge or jury.

Animation of oxygen tank with blocked air flow.

To See Inside

When the “inside” of an object must be seen to understand what happened, transparent views can show what is otherwise occluded.

Tip #1: Demonstrative Evidence: Keep it Simple

When designing effective demonstrative evidence, you want to educate your jury,
not overwhelm them.

First, decide exactly what message you want the graphic to convey.

Second, gather the necessary information to support the chart.

Third, the key to creating a successful graphic is to keep it simple.

Don’t try to make too many points on a single chart. If additional points are necessary to tell the story, be sure to introduce the individual parts, one at a time, using a computer presentation, or a magnetic trial board.

Magnetic boards allow total flexibility in the courtroom. A magnetic timeline, for example, allows entries to be revealed as the testimony unfolds. The order in which the entries are uncovered, can change on the spot, at any time.

Magnetic Timeline 


* Remember, unlike a computer image that goes away when the next image is projected, a trial board can stay up in the courtroom.

Computer presentations allow you to present one point at a time with the click of a mouse. Your points will appear seamlessly as they are presented in the courtroom.

* Computer presentations are the way to go when there are numerous charts being presented.

Keep in mind, this is your case, so your graphics and delivery method should complement your presentation style.

Courtroom Graphics & Animation, Inc. has created visuals for use in over 3,100 cases, spanning a wide variety of legal settings. The nature of our work requires us to grasp complex concepts very quickly, and to translate these concepts into easily understood charts, graphs, illustrations, and computer animations.

For a consultation, contact Holly Hobbs Martin,