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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I use demonstrative evidence?

How much does demonstrative evidence cost?

How long does it take to produce demonstrative evidence?

Do I need a large firm to produce my demonstratives?

Can I use off the shelf demonstrative evidence?

Can I reuse demonstrative evidence from earlier cases?

Can I make my own demonstrative evidence in-house?

What should I look for in a demonstrative evidence expert?

When should I engage my demonstrative evidence expert?

Is my case too small for demonstrative evidence?

My case is too complex for a jury to really understand; isn’t demonstrative evidence a wasted effort?

Does my case need animation?

Is demonstrative evidence only for expert witnesses?

 

When should I use demonstrative evidence?

Any time that you want the finders of fact to understand, believe, or remember your story. While this may sound rather glib, many studies have shown that information received both aurally and visually is better understood and recalled.

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How much does demonstrative evidence cost?

This varies widely with the complexity of the case. Most experts are compensated by the hour and cost is a function of how much time is invested in the case. In our experience, budgets can range from $10,000 for a simple case with low stakes to $1,000,000 for a complex, bet the company matter. Most budgets are well under $100,000.

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How long does it take to produce demonstrative evidence?

This varies widely with the complexity of the case. Small matters may be completed in a matter of days if counsel and evidence are readily available. Larger matters take more time. With sufficient access to counsel, experts, and evidence, even large matters can be completed quickly.

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Do I need a large firm to produce my demonstratives?

Probably not. From business partners with a dispute over $300,000 to a major global software house with $4 Billion on the table, we have comfortably handled cases of all sizes. We don’t want to churn out hundreds of demonstratives which no one will be able to remember, we want to distill to a much tighter group of exhibits with maximum impact. That does not take an army, it takes a small, highly disciplined team.

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Can I use off the shelf demonstrative evidence?

There are companies which will take demonstrative evidence from their libraries and adapt it for your case. Because each case is unique, we do not believe that this approach saves time or money or produces quality demonstratives.

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Can I reuse demonstrative evidence from earlier cases?

A qualified yes, as long as the fact patterns are the same. For instance, if you are asserting the same patents in multiple suits, a great deal of tutorial and validity material can be reused.

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Can I make my own demonstrative evidence in-house?

We don’t recommend it. Obviously we are biased, but also our experience has been that demonstrative evidence produced in house is frequently inferior for a couple of very good reasons. As per the well known proverb “He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client” we believe that counsel cannot be objective enough to be his own artist. Just as law requires many years of study and practice, so does good design. We would not dream of practicing law and would not advocate that counsel practice design. Some firms have in house art departments, in our experience these usually are not independent enough to ask the hard questions and probe deeply.

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What should I look for in a demonstrative evidence expert?

Look for a firm where you deal directly with the designers, not a middle man. Look for a firm that probes deeply and analyzes fully before beginning design. Look for a firm that spends more time listening than talking. Look for a firm whose only business is demonstrative evidence. Ultimately, look for a good track record.

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When should I engage my demonstrative evidence expert?

Engage your expert as early as possible, it is never too early to begin understanding issues and thinking about organization. If you engage before discovery, your expert will have an opportunity to request specific sketches that might be useful in demonstratives later. Work should begin in earnest shortly after discovery closes.

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Is my case too small for demonstrative evidence?

Probably not, unless the stakes simply do not justify a modest budget. If the matter were so simple and clear cut that illustration could not enhance understanding, it would not be in dispute.

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My case is too complex for a jury to really understand; isn’t demonstrative evidence a wasted effort?

While others may disagree, we believe that no case is too complex for a jury to understand. Confusion is a failure of design, not a characteristic of information. Complex cases require ruthless elimination of unnecessary information and rigorous organization of what remains. With step by step introduction suited to the audience, virtually anything can be taught to a jury.

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Does my case need animation?

Quite possibly, but be clear about the distinctions between types of animation. Two dimensional animation, very simple moving arrows or symbols frequently adds to understanding and is easy and inexpensive to produce. Three dimensional animation (3D) is characterized by objects which can be viewed from all angles and manipulated in space. It is much more complex and costly. 3D animation is indicated when it is necessary to view objects from multiple angles and/or disassemble objects.

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Is demonstrative evidence only for expert witnesses?

No, we have prepared packages for fact witnesses, opening statement, and closing arguments as well. To prepare a package only for expert witnesses would leave a lesser understanding and recall of fact witnesses with the finder of fact. Every witness is important, not just experts.

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