A Few Simple Ways to Use Your iPhone in Your Daily Litigation Practice

As people in the litigation industry, we’re experts at juggling things. On any given day, I’ll be juggling 2-3 cases, marketing initiatives, blogging, a charity, exercise and my Muay Thai business all while trying to have a personal life intertwined in my “free time”. Doing this can sometimes be cumbersome and seem almost impossible, but there are some tools out there to help you in your balancing act; some that you actually own, but don’t even know how powerful it can be.
I’m an iPhone guy (and pretty much everything else Apple as well – iPod, MacBook, iPad), but up until recently, I never knew the true power of what was in my hand. To me, Siri was this “sometimes helpful, mostly annoying, marketing gimic” that Apple created to be clever. Her and I have had an on-again, off-again relationship for almost two years, but lately, I find myself calling her a little more frequently; some call it laziness, but I call it efficiency and productivity, two things, that we in the litigation world, absolutely need.


Even though she has been a thorn in my side, Siri can be an incredibly handy assistant at times. Through voice commands, you can get Siri to do almost anything that you could normally do on your phone, but without searching various menus, typing or even looking at her. In this article, I’m going to address just a few quick things that will help you get the most out of your new digital assistant.
Need to send an email about a brief? Simply ask Siri to send an email to your secretary (you will have to identify who your secretary is in your contact), speak what you would like the email to say, confirm and send.
Wondering if you have some free time to squeeze in a yoga session today? Ask Siri what your day looks like and she’ll let you know when you have commitments.
Searching for a particular case law reference? Ask Siri to find it for you. She can conduct an internet search, just like Google, producing thousands of results in seconds.
Running late for a deposition and need directions around traffic? Yep, she can do that too.
Don’t want to forget to pick up some Thai curry paste (I love Thai food) on the way home? Ask Siri for e reminder as you’re leaving work or near home (she uses your phone’s GPS to identify where you are for a timely reminder).
So, next time you’re using your iPhone, remember that you have “free” assistant at your command. Give these tasks a try and “date” Siri for a week or two; it may just be worth it! Even though Siri may seem like all business, she can be fun too. Want to know if she has a sense of humor? Ask her anything, and I mean anything, and she what she says; the answer WILL surprise you.
Have fun and if you have additional questions about how to use Siri in your litigation practice? Connect with me on LinkedIn or at DMykel@VisuaLexLLC.com and I’d be happy to tell you more.

03.14 Precision Points Article (3)

Best Article I’ve Read This Week: What Do Those Jurors Really Know About Science and Technology?

What do those jurors really know about science and technology?

posted by Douglas Keene






Lawyers are often taken aback when they hear mock jurors discussing their case and demonstrating little understanding of what was actually presented in evidence. We tend to see that emotional reaction go hand in hand with the excess consumption of peanut M&Ms. The more distorted the mock juror’s understanding of the evidence, the more the supply of peanut M&Ms in the room dwindles and the more attorneys pace back and forth and talk with their mouths full.

*       *       *       *

It’s probably a good thing that the National Science Foundation surveys the American public routinely to see what we really know. And it’s probably a good thing for you to read it and understand how to gauge the appropriate level at which to present your case.


Read the full article here:


Developing Graphics for Litigation? Ask Yourself This Question….

I was recently working on a case with a long time client, when this question popped into my head: Why does this matter?

We were assembling case themes, and subsequent graphics, for his opening presentation and struggling to condense his 55-slide presentation to conform to a 45 minute time limit.  This client is a well-respected orator, so I had no worries that he would be able to persuade the audience with his dialogue, but I was genuinely concerned that he would overwhelm them with his dense visual presentation. As I culled through the slides, trying to find materials that I could cut, I kept asking myself the same question over and over again: Why does this matter?

Knowing that we had to cut this presentation in order to not overwhelm the jury, as well as get our point across, our goal was to strategically eliminate slides that didn’t hold up to the scrutiny of this imperative question.  We have to remember, that our opening presentation isn’t the time to put on our entire case, but rather provide a road map of why were are here, where we are going and how we are going to get there.  These three questions can easily be answered in less than an hour, through engaging your audience with a mix of an oratory and carefully selected visuals.

If the answer to this question is glaringly evident, particularly with your opening presentation, then most likely need to cut whatever it is you’re looking and save it for later, or not at all.  Remember: our goal in opening is to simply lay the foundation of our story in an abbreviated time frame.

It’s no coincidence that as I’m writing this article, a client (partner at a large NYC law firm) emailed regarding a current matter we are working on.  He had reviewed the presentation, created by two associates, and commented “we need to cut this down; the jury will be asleep in under 20 minutes.”  He knew what his associates should have been asking from the start, and if they did, could have saved valuable time, and money, as trial quickly approached.


Why does this graphic matter?  Because it combines three case themes, represents critical data and has an immediately recognized takeaway.

So, the next time you are creating your visual presentation for trial, arbitration, meditation or a hearing, don’t forget to ask: Why does this matter?

If you need assistance with this imperative question, feel free to contact me on LinkedIn or at DMykel@VisuaLexLLC.com


Best Article I Read This Week: Why Trial Tech ≠ Litigation Graphics

by Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

At least once a week, I hear someone on A2L’s customer relationship team say, “a litigator told me they already hired a litigation graphics consultant, but really they’ve only hired their trial technology consultant so far. How can we help them understand the difference between the two roles?” Hopefully, I can help clear up the understandable confusion somewhat in this article.

A litigation graphics consultant and a trial technology consultant are two entirely different roles. Perhaps because of the quick rise of midsize law firms in big litigation, we are hearing confusion more often than ever. Except in the rarest of circumstances, a good trial team should not try to combine the work in one person.

Read more here:


trial tech not litigation graphics

Writing a Legal Brief? Try This Easy and Innovative Technique to Deliver Your Argument

Writing a Legal Brief?  Try This Easy and Innovative Technique to Deliver Your Argument
A commonly held belief is that litigation graphics are only for trial; unfortunately, this is applying an ancient approach to a modern day submission.  We asked some of our top clients (who include some of the top law firms in the US) why they use graphics in theirs briefs, and we received a resounding answer: visuals are the best way to communicate large amounts of data into one cohesive point.  When our clients are faced with complicated, convoluted charts or excel spreadsheets full of thousands of points of data, they call us.  The reason we always get this phone call from our most trusted clients is two-fold:

Because we have taught them that one graph (line, bar, or the like) can represent hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of data in a simple uncomplicated way where the judge can immediately understand our argument


With the limited amount of pages they are allowed in a brief, they understand each page needs to be as impactful as possible.

Below is a perfect example how we assisted a client with their recent brief.  Our client was faced with a very strict page limitation, but needed to include numerous financial data in order to make our argument plausible.  We condensed over 2100 (over 100 pages of Excel entries) pieces of data into one, static, comprehensive graphic that not only told our client’s story, but allowed the judge to understand a key argument with minimal cognitive overload. More importantly, our client was able to maximize the number of pages in their brief to help support their argument, which, in turn lead to a favorable ruling for our side moving forward.


Progressive litigators realize the value of utilizing visuals in all aspects of their case.  Visuals are no longer just for trial, but can also be used during motions, hearings, Markmans and even trial briefs.  If you’re using graphics only for trial, you’re already giving your opponent an advantage before stepping into the courtroom.

If you have any questions about gaining a competitive edge over your adversary, feel free to contact me at via LinkedIn.



The Best Article I Read This Week: Litigation Graphics Creating Leverage for Settlement

by Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

If you think of settlement as mediation, then how would you prepare? In mediation, I think most lawyers would prepare an aggressive presentation that helps persuade your fact finder. I think you should do the same for settlement talks.


At this point, the judge is usually working from a short summary of the facts of the case and is by no means an expert in the facts. The judge is attempting to take a very quick look at the facts, and attempting to force both sides’ hands using fear as a motivator.

What if instead you were able to open up a laptop (or the same in paper form) and say, “Your Honor, if you’ll allow me a three minutes, I’ll show you six things that may change the way you are looking at this case.” I think most judges would say yes.

So here are five areas where you can use litigation graphics meaningfully, powerfully, and successfully during settlement talks.

1. During actual mediation. Here there are usually no federal rules of evidence. It’s a good time to be aggressive with your litigation graphics.

2. During settlement talks in a judge’s chambers. Whether you open a laptop to a PowerPoint or whether you have tabletop-size charts to share, using visuals will show that you’re serious, will allow a judge to get her arms around your case quickly, and will provide ammunition to force settlement from the other side closer to your number.

Read the full article here:


settlement litigation graphics

The Best Article I Read This Week: First Impressions ARE Written in Stone, BUT Can Be Broken

Expect First Impressions to be Carved in Stone

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:

We’ve all heard the old saying: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. It is true that when meeting someone new, our brain is quickly putting them into a number of categories. Their background, intelligence, friendliness, attitudes, trustworthiness, and a myriad of other aspects of character are all on their way to being locked into some pretty durable assumptions. In a legal setting, where a juror is reacting to a witness on the stand for example, we might want those credibility determinations to be made over time, informed by the full scope of the testimony. But don’t count on it. Our biological impression-formation machine isn’t known for its patience. Even in situations where our goals are to wait and to keep an open mind, we are still forming impressions almost immediately as a natural consequence of the brain’s penchant for making meaning. We can’t help it.

Full Article here: