Eight Principles of Information Design in Trial Practice

In my trial practice class this evening, we discussed the use of presentation software in trial practice. At MSU’s trial practice program, we learn TrialDirector, kind of an advanced PowerPoint for attorneys. I am not sure what software most attorneys use for trial presentation, but I am very interested in learning any alternatives.

Below are the eight “rules of thumb” of information design in trial practice presentation we discussed. These are the basics but, I think, they serve as good reminders for developing presentations for opening statements or closing arguments:

  1. One graphic per display.
  2. The fewer words the better.
  3. Avoid bullet points and flying in/out graphics (keep it professional).
  4. Keep displays, fonts, graphics, etc. consistent.
  5. Use trial exhibits whenever possible.
  6. Color implies meaning.
  7. Present the information in the most persuasive sequence.
  8. Substance over style!

These, of course, are pretty “bare bones,” but, again, I think they are effective reminders. If you have any other suggestions or tips for trial presentations or techniques, please let me know!


One thought on “Eight Principles of Information Design in Trial Practice

  1. lirianoa1

    This post is great! I’ll officially be a 1L in the summer but I’m working now as a legal assistant. We recently stepped into the 21st century, lol. On an iPad, we use Trialpad. It’s fantastic and you can sync it with Dropbox. I also use Transcriptpad to mark up depositions. iAnnotate is another great app. Anyway, I’ll check out TrialDirector. -@aelleee (from twitter)


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