By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:
A recent blog post written by a juror in the trial of Jim Fayed, a gold trader convicted of arranging the brutal murder of his estranged wife in a Los Angeles parking garage, included some rather colorful descriptions of the prosecutor’s use of demonstrative graphics:
…And then there were the assistant DA’s unnecessarily omnipresent PowerPoint slides.
Here are some actual quotes:
“If Jim Fayed didn’t do it, who did? BATMAN?” Click: Batman slide.
“The defense is offering you a buffet of explanations.” Click: buffet slide.
Effective trial presentation is an art, and litigators should use every effective tool at their disposal to practice and hone that art. But when the techniques call attention to themselves is when “art” becomes “artiface.” Some would point to this example and say, “See! This is what happens when litigators wed themselves to PowerPoint and other presentation crutches in opening and closing.” But the problem in this case is not the use of visuals and PowerPoint, but the way they’re used
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