Witness contamination or tampering is something that rarely comes up in high-stakes litigation, but when it does, it’s typically met with foundation-shaking consequences.
In a recent matter, our client wanted to visually make the point that nearly all of opposing witnesses’ testimony contained cross references to other witnesses’ statements. In addition, when these witnesses were asked under oath about the other witnesses’ statements they relied upon or cited to, many of them were quite unfamiliar with the actual content which they had included in their own statements. Unbelievably, some witnesses testified that they had never even read the other witness statements.
Originally, our trial team wanted to attach a summary of the evidence supporting this argument to their brief. However, since their text version of the chart spanned 3 pages and they were constrained by a judicially imposed page limitation, they decided to forgo the attachment and defer presenting support for this point to the oral argument. Our client, knowing that 70% of the population is composed of visual learners, tasked us with developing a more concise, yet visually effective way of presenting this evidence at a later hearing. The VisuaLex consultants were able to transform 3 pages of dense text into a single base illustration with a handful of repetitive building screens that put some meat on the bones of the argument. The “web-like” quality of the graphic visually communicated the “contamination” aspect of the issue.
We repeated that visual foundation in subsequent screens, but only highlighted the reliance on other witness statements for a particular witness, so we could add relevant testimony showcasing their lack of knowledge of actual content and/or acknowledgement of never reading the statements they relied upon. Finally, we implemented a VisuaLex standard, by crafting a title that succinctly told our story and gave the “takeaway” of our argument.
After the hearing, our client happily reported to us that the Tribunal found this graphic series to be extremely helpful in understanding the facts buttressing our argument and, in fact, actually laughed when the graphic made its appearance on the display screens.
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