How Visual Mediums are Shaping the Modern Juror

As a Trial Lawyer, you fully understand that the jury you present your client's case to can help or hurt your argument. There is no doubt a good chunk of your trial prep is spent considering how to connect with your jurors. In this everchanging world of technological advancements, large law firms and solo attorneys, alike, commonly discuss the use of technology for case management or Social Media’s legitimacy as a marketing tool for their practice. Moving a step further, consider how these emerging mediums of communication implicitly shape a person’s understanding of the world around them. Simply put, the mediums we use affect how we process information and what information lingers as your juror leaves the courtroom.

The modern world is currently dominated by multi-media. Emerging youngsters spend their free time in 3D virtual worlds or falling into the proverbial black hole of picture after picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. The old mediums of storytelling are no longer able to stand alone but instead have been fused together in simplistic audio-visual spectaculars that engage every aspect of your senses. The general population no longer wants to take the time to read a book about their favorite hero, they want to listen to the audio-book, watch the movie, or glance at quick GIFs that summarize the main points. The way we as a society comprehend a message has shifted and that can be seen everywhere from needing emojis to understand the tone of a text message, to the use of Augmented Reality in college classrooms for hands-on learning. The same is true for in the courtroom. Combining a visual presentation with an oral argument, or expert testimony in order to present a more accurately communicated message just makes sense in today’s world. Recently, it was the godfather of modern Communication study, Marshall McLuhan, who did extensive research on how newer mediums of communication are affecting how information is received by an individual or group of people. He concluded that “The Medium Is Where Your Message Is” and the worlds of marketing, rhetoric, and education have not been the same since.

The Medium Is Where Your Message Is….

…and your medium should be 3D visual presentations. The progressive movement for trial tech and visuals in the courtroom is gaining national recognition. With some of the nation's top attorneys utilizing the latest and greatest in visuals to win their cases, it is safe to say that words may close a case, but visuals close them faster and for larger amounts. Yes, you could just draw a picture of what happened on a whiteboard but that wouldn’t play into the audio-visual spectacular everyone is expecting. That medium has been metaphorically benched, and 3D visuals have come to play according to Marshall McLuhan. The basic framework of spotting a new effective medium fit into what he called The Four Laws of Media which asks four basic questions, the mains ones being:

  1. What human trait or experience does the medium enhance?
  2. What pre-existing technology, method, system, or medium is obsolesced?
  3. What technology or system does the new medium retrieve?

How do 3D visuals used in the courtroom fit into McLuhan’s Four Laws of Media?

(Rule #1) 3D Animation Is an Enhancement of the Everyday Human Experience

Falling in line with the fusion of multiple forms of media, 3D Animations/Illustrations places your jury, judge, or arbitrator at the scene of the incident. They can see with their own eyes what your client saw when they were hit. Empathetically, feel the pain of each injury or surgical incision made while they listen to a description of the details surrounding the case. Stepping into your client’s shoes, the audience becomes immersed in the story. Similar to the way people crave that connection with celebrities on TV shows or on their Instagram feed. These visuals extend that experience into the courtroom, making them more receptive to the information being given to them.

(Rule #2) Whiteboards are Obsolete…  

If medical students are being taught with Augmented Reality, and newspapers are slowly going bankrupt in the world of CNN, then why are we still expecting our audience in the courtroom to listen to our speeches the way they did before colored TVs? The spike in dynamic visuals being used in the courtroom makes the old ways of informing your audience seem bland. Visuals take the complexity of expert testimony and turn it into something a jury or mediator can easily understand. Remember that your message is now competing with visual messages that are bombarded at your jurors on a daily basis. A fully realized courtroom presentation that combines the full spectrum of information technology can enhance an oral argument and more accurately convey every subtle nuance of an event. Both engaging and informing your audience, which is used to the constant visual stimulation, all at once.

(Rule #3) They Retrieve Past Events in Detail…

With information at your fingertips, why remember anything at all! Studies have shown that computers are in fact changing the wiring of the human brain. In recent times the common phrase “Seeing is Believing” is more and more accurate. One aspect is in our ability to recall information, which appears to be more limited with time. Through expert and report-driven precision, a visual can accurately recall an event that occurred from months to years ago. Surgery operative reports from five years prior or point cloud data from the scene of a collision that took place yesterday, bring accuracy to visuals that act as never fading memories. Instead of relying on the witness to accurately paint the picture, visuals allow them to act as a guide while expert backed data becomes the difference between a he-said-she-said outline and a full-blown, scientifically sound work of art.

Ultimately there is truth to Confucius quote, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember.” The general population has been groomed by current technology to be wowed by their informational experience. The days of using speech as the main tool of persuasion are quickly fading with people’s need to be entertained. Visuals have become the dominant medium and more specifically, eye-catching 3D animations that engage the viewer have made projectors and whiteboards something of the past, almost archaic. Here at DK Global, we encourage those who haven’t taken the technological leap to consider that the future is here, and it is time we throw on our metallic jumpsuit, hop on our hovercraft, and enjoy the ride.

Written by: Brianna Staples Marketing and Client Liaison
Aaron Birk
Alex Deaconson
Brianna Staples
Cameron Thies
Courtney Bowers
Hagen Gilbert
Heather Texter
Irma Hawkins
Michael Caldwell
Nika Hogue
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