Chapter 3: Teaching the Case

Digital illustration,
Animation Technology Incorporated,
courtesy of Larry Collins

The authors talk about Chapter 3: Teaching the Case

Bookmark and Share

Chapter 3, Teaching the Case, shows how digital tools are transforming lawyers’ and witnesses’ ability to explain facts to judges and jurors. Digitization enables advocates to put more evidence into visual form; to combine words and pictures in whatever manner best conveys the desired ideas; and to display pictures in sequences on screens, pacing the information so that it’s easy to learn – or, if the lawyer so wishes, tells the client’s story with cinematic vividness.

We track the work of advocates and their visual consultants in four case studies: an accounting fraud trial in which digital diagrams were used to teach jurors the rules of accounting and to explain how the defendant had violated them; a murder-arson trial in which the defense lawyer’s expert witness illustrated his testimony with a multimedia re-creation of the tragic fire, supporting the defendant’s theory that the fire had been an accident; the notorious murder trial of Michael Skakel for the killing of Martha Moxley, in which the prosecution used a custom-designed, interactive evidence presentation system to display demonstrative evidence on demand and thus help jurors to understand the prosecution’s version of the tragic events; and an excessive-force case in which the defendant police officer’s lawyer used computer animation to visualize his client’s state of mind.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Koenig

State v.Bontatibus

State v. Murtha

For Abu Ghraib pictures, see:

For day-in-the-life movies (and more), see the Bill Buckley Legal Video Archive at the Quinnipiac University School of Law: