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The Champion

January - February 2016 , Page 14 

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The Importance of Visual Presentation at Trial

By Jason M. Lynch and Iris Eytan

A large body of scientific support exists for the proposition that visual displays communicate information powerfully.1 People want to be shown pictures when someone is trying to teach them something new. Of the three primary learning styles — visual, auditory, and kinesthetic — most people are primarily visual learners.2 One study of juror memory retention found that retention increased 650 percent when oral communication is combined with visual communication.3 

While the legal profession is steeped in traditions of oral and written advocacy, it has little tradition of visual advocacy. It is not taught in law schools and is not learned in practice. Lawyers have neglected the most influential form of communication they can use with juries.

Demonstrative evidence — diagrams, charts, visual summaries, and exemplars of physical objects — should be a regular part of a defense attorney’s presentation at trial. Skillful visual presentation of key evidence and themes will e

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