A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

It has often been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. This is especially true in the courtroom where a picture can serve as a welcome reprieve from the many thousands of words used throughout a trial. One need only substitute the terms “demonstrative evidence” or “non-testimonial evidence” for the word “picture” and the scenario is set.

For years, litigants have used props, demonstrations, exhibits, and the like to aid in testimony. The purpose of such demonstrative evidence ranges anywhere from “… maintaining jurors interest to assuring that the jury recognizes exactly what the lawyer wants it to know and remember.” The premise for using this supplemental evidence is that it is more effective (in terms of learning and information retention) to show the jurors the evidence or exhibit rather than to simply tell them about it.

The use of “Day In The Life” videos is significant for many reasons. Providing a “window” into the world of the paraplegic, for example, allows the jury to be transported into the home for a firsthand view of the daily routine of the injured party and in so doing evokes a heightened appreciation for their predictament.