Harlan Pelz & Associates, PC

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Swaying the Jury Using Specialized Graphics

Visual Advantage's Diarmuid Truax demonstrates a timeline he created for a recent trial. PHOTO: Matthew Meier

*Editor’s Note: A longer version of this story appears in next week’s “Spotlight on Litigators” print edition of Law Week Colorado.*

By Alicia McNally, LAW WEEK COLORADO

DENVER–Litigators from both sides say advances in technology have helped presentations by providing interactive aids for juries, particularly in product liability cases like Toyota.

Advancements in visual technology can organize complex mechanical explanations of automobile malfunctions, says Diarmud Truax, a senior litigation technology consultant at Visual Advantage in Denver.

“Today’s generations to serve on juries are used to getting their information from web sites, seeing it on television, instantly, in sound bites and in small formats,” Truax said. “We help attorneys bring that into the courtroom.”

Harlan Pelz of Fairfield and Woods won a product liability case an exercise bike, and largely attributed that verdict to a bike he brought in for the jury to test during their deliberation. At the same time, however, he’s also employed the use of simulations to show how seismic data is recorded.

“When you try to present a case at trial, our society has really gotten used to 15 second spot-commercials,” Pelz said. I think that we as trial lawyers have to use the technology we have and present it in a away that is comfortable for jurors and even the court too. They don’t want a long dragged out explanation of things… If we see too many blank faces, we’re doing something wrong.”

*Read commentary from Snell & Wilmer’s Lee Mickus and others in the Spotlight on Litigators Issue of Law Week Colorado, *out April 26.

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