It is beyond question that jurors expect, and advocates need to offer, some visual information – and, indeed, some electronic visual information – during a trial. Visuals increase attention and retention when done properly, and they certain reduce boredom.
In this succinct two-page reminder of these principles, litigation consultant Josh Dubin summarizes some of the essential research findings in this area and offers two forms of demonstratives that should be considered.
First is the time line, and Dubin’s points are that jurors crave and need them and they bring clarity to complex, parceled-out information. The second is called a “comparative reasoning chart,” and it is a simple, non-cluttered comparison of what normally is done (or what should have been done) and what instead transpired here. It might look like this:
|Proper Police Procedure
|Procedure In This Case
|Translate Miranda warnings verbatim and in writing
|Oral ‘explanation’ of Miranda rights by a bilingual police clerk
|Check for drug/alcohol intake/impairment
|No questions about or assessment of impairment
|Breaks every two hours
|No break for six hours
|Record entire interrogation
|Record Final Statement
It takes three to five minutes to read this piece, and there are many more facets to powerful demonstrative evidence than timelines and comparisons – but this “practice points” column offers essentials in courtroom presentation that can’t be ignored.