Judge Awards $1.03 MIL for “Necessary” Trial Support (graphics and technology) Compensation

This ruling reflects a drastic paradigm shift in our legal system from the traditions of paper and overheads to trial presentation systems and cutting edge graphics.  It’s refreshing to see a landmark ruling like this and how the judge identifies with the jurors’ expectations of a technologically savvy presentation. He goes on to suggest that the judiciary should encourage such cutting edge presentations like this as they not only save the court and juror’s time (as well as tax payer’s dollars), but are also professional and respectful.

The opposition’s comment on the use of technology and graphics in trial was laughable and borderline malpractice when representing a billion dollar client in a suit worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  Opposing counsel had this to say, in light of the ruling:

“For hundreds of years, he noted, juries reached verdicts with technology confined to ink on paper.”

Really?  Like I said, borderline malpractice….


Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen was awarded $1.03 million Wednesday to cover expenses for his six-week trial that ended in May, 10 percent less than he had requested but far more than the 90 percent discount requested by his one-time client, Las Vegas Sands Corp.

In taking 39 minutes to deliver his ruling from the bench…

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Litigators, Why You Need To Learn How to Use Siri for Your Practice

As people in the litigation industry, we are experts at juggling things.  On any given day, I’ll be juggling 2-3 cases, marketing initiatives, blogging, a charity, my action sports 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 incredible 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, etc.), but up until recently, I never knew the true power of what was literally 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 nearly a year, but lately, I find myself calling her more than ever before; call it laziness, but I call it efficiency and productivity, two things that us in the litigation world absolute need.

“Siri is the incredibly handy assistant that comes with iOS devices.  Through voice commands, you can get Siri to do almost anything that you could normally do on your phone or tablet yourself.  In this article, we’ll show how to put Siri to work to make your iOS experience easier and faster.”

Korbin Brown’s great article explains how to get the most out of this “free” assistant.  Follow his instructions and “date” Siri for a week or two; I promise it will be worth it!

What can I ask Siri to do?

You can ask Siri to do just about anything, and you don’t need to be overly specific about what you say.  For example, you can say things like “Give my mom a call,” instead of “Make a phone call to my mother.”  Speaking casually or formally, Siri knows what you mean.  On the list of commands below, keep in mind there are quite a few ways to say each one.  Don’t get hung up on any of the wording, just read this to learn of Siri’s various functions.

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Making Good Use of Trial Director & Demonstratives in an Arbitration

Posted by Ken Lopez

TrialDirector, a trial presentation software package produced by InData, is an indispensable aid to the presentation of electronic and other evidence at trial. There is a reason why this product has claimed the majority of the market share for trial presentation software for more than 10 years: It can actually make it interesting for a jury or other fact-finder to listen to a witness testify about corporate balance sheets, long-ago emails, and other documents that can be fatally boring and lose the attention of the fact-finder.

trial director technology presentation

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Will Being Folksy and Low-Tech Help You Win a Case?

by Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

low tech trial technology slick folksy

“I generally delegate the preparation of litigation graphics, and I tend to keep things pretty low-tech anyway.”

To be fair, this is the way cases have been tried for a very long time, and the partner had had a great deal of success with this approach. So, what’s wrong?

What’s wrong is that jurors’ expectations have changed enormously in just the last few years. Jurors expect a trial presentation to be polished and more like the nightly news than like a corporate PowerPoint. They expect a trial lawyer to be polished and well-practiced, more like Brian Williams than a dull CLE presenter. This rural Arkansas jury said it better than I ever could when they responded to a question about the use of trial technology by saying, “Today is technology. That’s what it’s all about.”

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What Equipment Do You Need in the Courtroom for an Effective Presentation?

Lately, our clients are asking us to help recommend equipment to compliment the persuasive graphics we’ve created for their cases.  While, for a trial veteran, this is an easy question, but for those who are not as familiar with the courtroom, this can be something of an anxiety initiator (think of the younger associate who has been tasked with this and the lead attorney – senior partner – is relying whole-heartedly on them).

With that thought, here’s a list of equipment we typically recommend for our clients:

1. Laptop

2. Back-up laptop

3. External hard drive

4. Back-up external hard drive

5. Distribution Amp (also called a DA)

6. Switcher

7. Speakers

8. Projector

9. Screen

10. LCD monitors

11. ELMO (Digital Presenter)

12. Easel

13. All the appropriate wiring, cables and power adapters

Tune in next week when we recommend more specifics for these pieces and the best way to go about putting everything together.

The 12 Worst PowerPoint Mistakes Litigators Make

by Ken Lopez
Founder & CEO
A2L Consulting

Some online estimates say that about 30 million PowerPoint presentations are given every day. That number seems more than a bit high, and it’s hard to find a credible source for it. But let’s say it’s off by a factor of 80 percent, so that just one-fifth of that many presentations are given each day. Still, that would be 6 million PowerPoints.

In the legal community, we give our fair share. Since legal services are about 1% of the total economy, we can make a guess that at least 60,000 PowerPoints are being given every day in the U.S. legal industry, or about 6,000 for every hour of the working day.

If we assume that every legal industry PowerPoint is being watched by an average of two other people and all of those people charge $200 on average for their services, America’s legal industry is producing at least $3.6 million of PowerPoints every hour! That’s a lot of time and a lot of money. We ought to at least use it well.

PowerPoint has been the dominant presentation software in the courtroom since 2003

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12 worst powerpoint mistakes litigators make

Can the Slow Pace of Trial Keep Up with Our Fast-Paced World?

Rushing through the C terminal of SeaTac Airport hoping to catch an earlier shuttle to Portland, I was pleased to see that every business and service around me attempted to accommodate my jet setter lifestyle. The Massage Bar enticed me to relax with a “15 minute short shot;” Butter™London promised a “waterless express manicure,” and Beechers suggested I, “Rush in and grab lunch to go.” I didn’t have time for any of those things. I was too busy eyeballing the “standby list” eager to get home an hour earlier than planned. Alas, the 2 p.m. flight came and went, and there I sat next to a 20-something kid who provided me with 30 minutes of entertainment and the inspiration for this blog.

It occurred to me that this kid, living in his double-screen world, could very well end up sitting in the jury box of your next trial. If he’s lucky, there will be a single foam-core poster board proudly displaying page 4 of a key document. And if he’s really lucky, there may be a PowerPoint show containing 40 bullet-pointed slides explaining the expert’s opinion. But, there won’t be interactive games or FaceTime connections with friends four states away.


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Two iPad Apps for Attorneys to Present in Court or in Meetings

May 7, 2013 By


When the iPad first came out and attorneys began using it as a tool to help present their cases visually, I thought how great it would be if a presentation could be seen by all participants on their own tablet as opposed to projected on a screen. This personal contact with the tablet in their hands would resolve a major limitation on presentations given on a screen, which is a lack of resolution. When you project a presentation, you lose 60 to 70 percent of the resolution you get from your computer screen, and the viewer has to look across a room, which is why you need to make fonts quite big and images quite bold. iPads with retina display have better resolution and can be viewed close up, which means that detailed charts and diagrams are possible to show in a way they would not be if projected.

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New iPad App Declutters Voir dire

A new app for the iPad is proving to be a contender in the litigation technology world.  Jury Pad from Bench and Bar helps attorneys and consultants alike leave their legal pads, sticky notes and even pens and papers at home and organizes all the relevant information one would need during voir dire.  With the ability to pre-load information from your Pc or Mac ahead of time, this app can be used on the fly or prior to court.

The app also allows you to export all your information to a spreadsheet or text file to share with the rest of your trial team.  A true innovation in trial technology!

Find more information here:


iPad Screenshot 1