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Graphic Design For Legal Advocacy

Graphic Design for Legal Advocacy

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Big thanks to Troy White of Counterpoint Legal for today’s talk on Graphic Design for Legal Advocacy. This post contains all of the material from the presentation, including:

  • Video of the webinar;
  • “Slides” from Troy’s talk (you’ll see – they’re better than slides); and
  • Additional material Troy thought the audience might be interested in.

You can connect with Troy on Twitter (@cplegaldesign), Facebook (here), and Instagram (@counterpointdesign). Troy’s website for more traditional presentation and graphic design work is www.counterpointdesign.co.

In addition to Troy’s recommended resources below, check out this great post by Carolyn Elefant – which coincidentally went out today – on comic/visual contracts.


Video of the webinar

 

Troy’s Prezi presentation 

Just click the start button to click through the presentation. 

 Resources on the web

  • Prezi. An alternative presentation tool that focuses on panning and zooming in on a presentation, giving a more holistic and connected view of the presentation than linear slides.
  • Haiku Deck. Online slideshow creation tool that restricts the user and at the same time assists in creating simple and beautiful slides.
  • Canva. Design tool for non-designers, another web-based application that assists you in creating great looking and simple graphics.
  • Piktochart. Simple tool for creating infographics.

Recommended reading

  • Don’t Make Me Think” – Steve Krug. A great look at design from a User Experience perspective; Krug’s lessons can be applied to many different design and communication endeavors.
  • Blah Blah Blah” – Dan Roam. Advocating “Vivid Thinking” and bringing visuals into communications as much as possible so our listeners don’t get lost in a sea of words.
  • Show the Story” – William S. Bailey, Former litigation attorney and current law professor’s book on the effective utilization of visuals in court.

Finally, one webinar attendee asked:

Do you ever have opposing counsel object or judges reject complex visuals as being distracting / misleading to juries?

To which Troy responds,

Yes, objections from opposing counsel and the discretion of the judge is always a threat to graphics being allowed or not.

A lot depends on the judge, and on the other side. If the opposing counsel is also using graphics, it’s often a matter of simply exchanging with them. However, there are plenty of times they’ll object to something you want to use. If they feel like any graphics are getting into the territory of “argument” during opening, that is definitely grounds for an objection. In general for graphics going into court, especially for opening, I try to keep things as informational as possible; as neutral as possible. In closing argument, you can let loose a little more as far as what you can put before jurors.

Usually the issue is misleading or making prejudicial rather than distraction. Most judges recognize the value of graphics to help avoid juror confusion, and help understanding of the case. Sometimes a specific graphic will be deemed to be prejudicial if it takes too strong a tone. Again, varies on judge. There has been a judge that would not allow the color red in any graphic because of the negative connotation.

One of the nice things about a powerpoint presentation (as opposed to printed graphics) is the ability to change it on-the-spot, or simply delete the objectionable slide, if the judge does not want to allow a certain element of it.

 

Graphic Design for Legal Advocacy
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Greg McLawsen

I’m proud to be the founder of Sound Immigration. My job is to work behind the scenes to ensure our clients have an outstanding experience at our firm. I’m passionate about reinventing the practice of law to make it work better for those we serve. I work hard to identify the best available technology to make our firm convenient for clients. I look to other industries, like real estate and the restaurant business, to learn about practice that will help serve our clients better.

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