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Specific Types of Graphics for Specific Parts of Trial

By now, I hope I have convinced you that trial graphics are important and that by taking the time to properly create them you can greatly improve your case. This is true regardless where in your trial you present this material. From opening statement through closing argument, you will benefit each time you use a well-prepared graphic.

Without detracting from the overall positive effect of using graphics throughout your case, this chapter focuses on three instances that are particularly well suited for graphics—opening statement, expert witness testimony and closing argument—and examines which types of graphics work well in each of these phases of trial.

These graphics are specialized; that is, you design them for a single purpose or for a discrete part of your case. Sometimes this is because the rules of evidence restrict when you can use certain tools (e.g., you can use argumentative graphics only in closing). Other times the graphics supplement a particular type of testimony (e.g., an expert accounting witness may need specialized graphics in order to help him explain the complex financial documents upon which he bases his opinions). Whatever the reason, these particular instances recur often enough that understanding what graphics you might want to use will increase your ability to persuade the jury.

Chapters